Smoking during pregnancy is linked to several health risks for children including low birth weight, reduced lung capacity, asthma, and obesity.
Results from a study by the Australian National University (ANU) have revealed another potential late health risk: development of reproductive cancers later in life in daughters of women who reported smoking most days during their pregnancy.
The researchers found that daughters of smokers had an earlier age of first menstruation, which increases the number of lifetime ovulation cycles.
This, in turn, increases the woman’s exposure to estrogen thereby increasing the risk of reproductive cancers. The ANU study used data on 1,500 girls from the Australian Government study Growing Up in Australia, the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children.
The Australian National University (ANU) study, published in Human Reproduction, found mothers who reported smoking most days while pregnant had daughters who had an earlier age of first menstruation, or menarche.