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Women who want to stop smoking during pregnancy can now use the patches or gum used in nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) without posing a risk to their baby. According to a new study, the use of NRT decreases the probability that the baby will be born lifeless.
This is the conclusion of a study carried out by a team of researchers from the University of Southern Denmark, in Copenhagen, and published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. There are several possible explanations for the low risk of having a lifeless baby among NRT users. One is that it is a group of smokers who are healthier and more likely to comply with the prevention advice during pregnancy. And another is that medical risk factors are less frequent among NRT users than among non-users.
The study used national data to gather information on NRT use and smoking in 87,032 single-baby pregnancies. 2% of the women said they used NRT, 14% had not smoked during that period, 30% had given up the addiction, and 56% continued to smoke. 495 stillbirths were registered, eight of which were among the NRT users. Compared with women who did not use the therapy, those who did had a 43% lower risk of stillbirth after considering other risk factors. And even among women who continued to smoke while using NRT, the risk decreased by 17%, compared to nonsmokers. In contrast, smokers who did not use NRT in pregnancy had a 46% higher risk of stillbirth.
Vilma Medina. Editor of our site
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