Closeup of young woman looking at nicotine patch on armThe Question: Does the use of nicotine replacement products during early pregnancy decrease risks of major congenital anomalies?

The Study: The records of 192,498 children born in the United Kingdom between 2001 and 2012 were reviewed for the presence of major congenital anomalies. The mother’s first term tobacco use, either smoking or tobacco replacement products such as patches or gum, was also compiled.

The Results: After statistical analysis to account for various factors, the researchers concluded that, “… absolute MCA (major congenital anomalies) risks were similar between women who smoked and those prescribed NRT (nicotine replacement products) during pregnancy.”

Comment: Despite some limitations, this study supports the value of women thinking of becoming pregnant being nicotine free. It appears it’s the nicotine and not other chemicals in tobacco that causes major congenital anomalies.

Read More: Pediatrics, 05/15

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From issue: 30/03-04