Smoking during pregnancy may affect grandchildren's growth

A UK study published in the American Journal of Human Biology has found that smoking during pregnancy has discernible effects on the growth of a woman's future grandkids.

With non-smoking mothers, if a paternal grandmother smoked during pregnancy, her granddaughters tended to be taller and both her granddaughters and grandsons tended to have greater bone mass and lean (muscle) mass. If a maternal grandmother smoked during pregnancy, her grandsons became heavier than expected during adolescence, with increased lean mass, grip strength and cardiovascular fitness. When both the maternal grandmother and the mother had smoked, girls had reduced height and weight compared with girls whose mothers, but not grandmothers, smoked.

"These likely transgenerational effects from the grandmothers' smoking in pregnancy need to be taken into account in future studies of the effects of on child growth and development. If replicated, such studies could be a useful model for the molecular analysis of human transgenerational responses," said senior author Prof. Marcus Pembrey.

More information: Golding, J., NOrthstone,K., Gregory, S., Miller, L., Pembrey, M. (2014), The anthropometry of children and adolescents may be influenced by the prenatal smoking habits of their grandmothers: a longitudinal cohort study. Am. J. Hum. Biol. DOI: 10.1002/ajhb.22594

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Smoking fathers could lead to early menopausal daughters

Jun 03, 2011

According to a study published in Fertility and Sterility, men who smoke in the presence of their pregnant partner may be putting their unborn daughter at risk for early menopause by as much as a year. While other resear ...

Recommended for you

The hunt for botanicals

16 hours ago

Herbal medicine can be a double-edged sword and should be more rigorously investigated for both its beneficial and harmful effects, say researchers writing in a special supplement of Science.

Mozambique decriminalises abortion to stem maternal deaths

18 hours ago

Mozambique has passed a law permitting women to terminate unwanted pregnancies under specified conditions, a move hailed by activists in a country where clandestine abortions account for a large number of maternal deaths.

Infertility, surrogacy in India

18 hours ago

Infertility is a growing problem worldwide. A World Health Organization report estimates that 60-to-80 million couples worldwide currently suffer from infertility.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.