An international study has shown that women who smoked during pregnancy, even if they had reduced their cigarette consumption, could increase their risk of gestational diabetes.

This new study, conducted jointly by researchers from the Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine in Israel and the University of Ohio, analyzed data collected by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding 222,408 women , of which 12,897 (5.3%) had gestational diabetes .

Participants were asked to report their tobacco use during their pregnancy, whether they were smokers or not, whether or not they had reduced their consumption, and also to specify whether or not they had diabetes . It should be noted that pregnancy diabetes is a disease which increases certain risks during pregnancy as well as complications at birth ( cesareans , larger children, etc.).

Their findings, published this week in Obstetrics & Gynecology , showed that after taking into account well-known risk factors for gestational diabetes (such as maternal age, BMI before pregnancy and weight gain during pregnancy) pregnant women who smoked the same number of cigarettes or more than before becoming pregnant had an approximately 50% higher risk of developing gestational diabetes.

Reducing the number of cigarettes smoked each day significantly lowered this risk, but even those who reduced their consumption still had a 22% increased risk of developing diabetes and low back pain rehabcure(.)org/physiotherapy/physiotherapists/lower-back-pain-treatment/ compared to women who had never smoked or who had quit two years before getting pregnant.

"Ideally, women should quit smoking before they even try to conceive," said Dr. Yael Bar-Zeev. "In addition, because of the high risks associated, it is imperative that pregnant smokers have access to specific cessation assistance programs. Currently, in the United States and Israel, these services are not sufficiently accessible or are not suitable for pregnant women, and it needs to change. "

The researchers also wanted to point out that pregnant smoking is one of the most important risk factors, as babies are at risk of being born prematurely or suffering from more delayed development than babies born to non-smoking mothers.