THURSDAY, Jan. 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Infants prenatally exposed to alcohol and tobacco cigarettes beyond the first trimester have an increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), according to a study published online Jan. 20 in EClinicalMedicine.

Amy J. Elliott, Ph.D., from Avera Health in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and colleagues conducted a prospective, multicenter, observational study involving 10,088 women, 11,892 pregnancies, and 12,029 fetuses followed to one-year postdelivery. Patterns of drinking and smoking exposure during pregnancy were categorized, and correlations with the risk for SIDS were examined.

One-year outcomes were available for 94.2 percent of infants, with 28 cases of SIDS (2.43 per 1,000). The researchers found that compared with unexposed infants or those whose mothers reported quitting early in pregnancy, the increase in relative risk for SIDS was 11.79 (98.3 percent confidence interval [CI], 2.59 to 53.7; P < 0.001) for infants whose mothers reported both prenatal drinking and smoking beyond the first trimester, 3.95 (98.3 percent CI, 0.44 to 35.83; P = 0.14) for drinking only beyond the first trimester, and 4.86 (98.3 percent CI, 0.97 to 24.27; P = 0.02) for smoking only beyond the first trimester after adjustment for key demographic and clinical characteristics.

“Stronger public health messaging regarding the dangers of drinking and smoking during pregnancy may alter the current plateau and further decrease SIDS rates,” the authors write.

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