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Medical News & Perspectives
February 22, 2006

Prenatal Smoking Linked to Digit Defects

JAMA. 2006;295(8):879. doi:10.1001/jama.295.8.879

Women thinking of starting a family have likely heard that smoking may increase their risks of infertility, ectopic pregnancy, and spontaneous abortion. Now they have another reason to steer clear of cigarettes. In the largest study of its kind, plastic surgeons found that smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of having a child with excess, webbed, or missing fingers and toes.

The study, appearing in the January issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, revealed that smoking a half of a pack per day or less significantly increases the risk of having a child born with such digit defects (Man LX and Chang B. Plastic Reconstr Surg. 2006;117:301-308).