A Comparison of Blood Pressure in Term, Low Birth-Weight Infants of Smoking and Nonsmoking Mothers

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Infants exposed to the components of cigarette smoke in utero are at an increased risk for perinatal death, low birth weight, sudden infant death syndrome, and premature delivery. The purpose of this pilot study was to compare blood pressure values in term low-birth weight infants (≤2500 grams) born to smoking mothers to the blood pressure values of term, low-birth weight infants born to nonsmoking mothers. Data were collected through a retrospective chart review of 30 low-birth weight, term infants at a hospital in the Rocky Mountain region of the United States. Systolic, diastolic, and mean arterial pressure values were obtained from each chart. Fifteen of the infants were born to women who smoked cigarettes during pregnancy, while another 15 infants were born to mothers who did not smoke during pregnancy. While hospitalized at birth, the infants of smoking mothers shared a trend toward higher blood pressure readings for all measures, with the t-test differences reaching statistical significance for systolic arm (p = .024), diastolic leg (p = .03), and mean arterial pressure of the arm (p = .038).

Keywords: infant blood pressure; low birth-weight; maternal smoking

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1624/105812404X6199

Affiliations: 1: Charlotte Stark is an advanced practice registered nurse at Custer County Medical Clinic in Westcliffe, Colorado. 2: Mary Beth Flanders Stepans is an associate professor in the School of Nursing at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, Wyoming.

Publication date: September 1, 2004

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