Children of mothers who smoke during pregnancy may be at increased risk
for kidney damage, a new study warns.
Researchers looked at test results for excessive protein in the urine (proteinuria)
-- which is a sign of reduced kidney function -- in nearly 44,600 children
in Japan who were followed until age 3.
Among the mothers in the study, nearly 5 percent smoked only before pregnancy
and about 17 percent of those women continued smoking while pregnant,
the study authors said.
Children of mothers who smoked during pregnancy were 1.24 times more likely
to show signs of kidney damage than those whose mothers were nonsmokers,
the investigators found.
Although the study found an association between smoking during pregnancy
and kidney damage in children, it could not prove cause and effect.
"Maternal smoking during pregnancy is known to be associated with
preterm birth, low birth weight, and [oxygen deficiency in newborns].
The findings from this study suggest an additional adverse effect of maternal
smoking during pregnancy," said study leader Dr. Koji Kawakami. He
is a professor and chairman of the department of pharmacoepidemiology
at Kyoto University in Japan.
The study was published online Dec. 22 in the
Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.
"Prevention of child proteinuria is important since child proteinuria
can lead to development of chronic kidney disease in adulthood and, ultimately,
end-stage [kidney] disease," Kawakami said in a journal news release.
The March of Dimes has more about
smoking during pregnancy.
Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, news release, Dec. 22, 2016