OREBRO, Sweden, Sept. 27 (UPI) — Smoking during pregnancy may affect the child’s physical coordination, British and Swedish researchers say.
Researchers from Orebro University in Sweden looked at 13,000 children taking part in the National Child Development Study where the children — all born in Great Britain in one week in March, 1959 — were continually tracked and smoking habits of the mothers during pregnancy were among the factors noted. The childrens’ physical control and coordination were tested at age 11 by school physicians.
The study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, finds the children of mothers who smoked during pregnancy had a higher risk of poorer coordination and physical control.
“We discovered that boys’ abilities may be affected to a greater extent than those of girls,” Scotte Montgomery says in a statement.
Montgomery and colleagues suggest a link between nicotine and testosterone may be affecting the boys. Nicotine, they say, can influence development of the brain in the fetus — especially since nicotine interacts with testosterone — and could make boys extra susceptible to fetal nicotine exposure.
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