Exposure to tobacco in unborn linked to increased risk of psychotic symptomsA new UK study suggests that exposure to tobacco while in the womb is linked to an increased risk of a child developing psychotic symptoms during their teens.
By: Special Features Staff Reports, Grand Forks Herald
A new UK study suggests that exposure to tobacco while in the womb is linked to an increased risk of a child developing psychotic symptoms during their teens.
The study was the work of researchers from Cardiff, Bristol, Nottingham and Warwick Universities and was published in the October issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry.
For the study the researchers looked at data on 6,356 12-year-olds taking part in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, which has been following the health and development of the children of over 14,000 mothers who enrolled during pregnancy in 1991 and 1992.
All the children underwent an interview assessment for psychotic-like symptoms, such as hallucinations or delusions, which revealed that just over 11 percent of them (734) had definite or suspected symptoms of psychosis.
After analyzing the data, the researchers found a link between how much their mothers smoked in pregnancy and the risk of psychotic symptoms in the children. The link was described as a “dose-response effect” where the more a mother smoked while pregnant, the higher the chance that her child would later develop psychotic symptoms.