Pregnant Women and Smoking

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A study conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that 21.8% of pregnant Caucasian women between the ages of 15-44 smoke. The same study found that the number of Caucasian pregnant women who smoke cigarettes is significantly higher than pregnant African American women and pregnant Hispanic women of the same age.
The results of this study were published in a report entitled, Data Spotlight: Substance Use During Pregnancy Varies by Race and Ethnicity, and is based on data analyzed from SAMHSA's 2002-2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).
This study also examined alcohol and illicit drug use among pregnant women of the same 15-44 age range and ethnicities. Data from this study showed pregnant Black women had a rate of 7.7% of illicit drug use compared to 4.4% for pregnant Caucasian women and 3.1% for pregnant Hispanic women.
In terms of alcohol use during pregnancy, African American and Caucasian women the rate was almost identical with only a .6 difference with African American women having a 12.8% rate of alcohol use and Caucasian women a 12.2% rate. Interestingly, pregnant Hispanic women had a significantly lower rate that the other two groups with a result of 7.4%.
This study is significant because using alcohol, tobacco or drugs during pregnancy puts both the woman and pregnancy at risk and they are more likely to have bad birth outcomes. Studying patterns of substance abuse of women with different ethnic backgrounds helps medical professionals and educators determine the best ways to get the information about how pregnancies can be affected by these substances to every community. These evidence based interventions have helped countless number of pregnant women be healthier which improves the number of positive outcomes for pregnancy and children’s health.

Source: Science Daily

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