Tuesday, February 5, 2008


Link Between Smoking In Pregnancy And Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Explained

‘Researchers at McMaster University have found a mechanism that explains why an infant’s ability to respond to oxygen deprivation after birth–or a hypoxic episode–is dramatically compromised by exposure to nicotine in the womb, even light to moderate amounts.

“While cigarette smoke contains many different compounds, we found there is a direct impact of one component, nicotine, on the ability of certain cells to detect and respond to oxygen deprivation,” says Josef Buttigieg, lead author and a PhD graduate student in the department of Biology. “When a baby is lying face down in bed, for example, it should sense a reduction in oxygen and move its head. But this arousal mechanism doesn’t work as it should in babies exposed to nicotine during pregnancy.”‘

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