• Journal Article

The impact of smoking and other substance use by urban women on the birthweight of their infants

Citation

Visscher, W., Feder, M., Burns, A., Brady, T. M., & Bray, R. (2003). The impact of smoking and other substance use by urban women on the birthweight of their infants. Substance Use and Misuse, 38(8), 1063-1093.

Abstract

The impact of maternal smoking and other substance use during pregnancy on infant birthweight is demonstrated in a sample of 766 urban women, using data collected in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area Drug Study (DC*MADS). Women residing and giving birth in the District of Columbia were interviewed in 1992. A multivariable linear regression model was used to quantify the association between birthweight and the mother's use of cigarettes, alcohol, or illicit drugs during pregnancy, while controlling for possible confounding variables. The analysis focused on factors, including prenatal care and substance use during pregnancy that may contribute to low birthweight infants born to this sample of urban, predominantly black women. A woman's use of cigarettes, marijuana, and heroin during pregnancy was related to infant birthweight, but her use of alcohol and cocaine during pregnancy was not significantly related. Smoking during pregnancy was a strong predictor for low birthweight, suggesting that targeting more smoking cessation programs for pregnant women, particularly those who may also be illicit drug users, could help reduce adverse health consequences for low birthweight infants