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BMI Explains Risk of Diabetes From Prenatal Smoke Exposure

Shared lifestyle factors explain similar effect estimates for maternal, paternal smoking

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THURSDAY, Aug. 14, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The association between maternal and paternal smoking during pregnancy and the risk of type 2 diabetes in daughters is largely explained by body mass index throughout the life course, according to a study published online Aug. 4 in Diabetes Care.

Vincent W.V. Jaddoe, M.D., Ph.D., from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues analyzed data from 34,453 participants of the Nurses' Health Study II to assess associations of maternal and paternal smoking during pregnancy with incidence of type 2 diabetes in daughters.

The researchers found that maternal smoking during first trimester only was associated with the risk of type 2 diabetes in offspring, independent of confounders, birth weight, and later-life BMI (fully adjusted hazard ratio 1.34). Continued maternal smoking during pregnancy and paternal smoking tended to be associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in daughters, in age-adjusted models. These associations were not explained by perinatal and adult life variables, but additional adjustment for current BMI fully attenuated the effect estimates.

"Further studies are needed to explore the role of first-trimester-only maternal smoking on insulin resistance in the offspring," write the authors.

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