Maternal Smoking During Pregnancy: Auditory Impacts

Discussion in 'Health Talk' started by attheedgeofscience, Nov 2, 2016.

    1. attheedgeofscience
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      attheedgeofscience Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

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      Smoking during pregnancy is well known to cause babies to be born with low birth weight as well as having a higher risk of complications during pregnancy. There are many other documented impacts - as any mother would have been briefed on during consultations and screenings with healthcare professionals. But... how many healthcare professionals would have passed on knowledge about hearing loss and smoking? Not many, I suspect. It turns out that around 12% of children are born while having been exposed to smoking during pregnancy. It also turns out that smoking during pregnancy carries an increase of risk of hearing loss in the unborn child. Below is the front page of a publication on the subject from 2013. The full-text document requires subscription to the journal - and hence, I cannot attach it here (but the main results/conclusions are shown).

      Worldwide, around 120 million babies are born each year. That means - according to statistics - that on a global scale, some 12-15 million children (and future adults) each year are at a higher risk of having some degree of hearing loss. A statistic that is fully preventable - just like handing out earplugs at a concert would be.

      Conclusion: For about 12-15 million children, it would appear that motherly love comes with a bit of smoke (and potential hearing loss in some cases).

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