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Babies born to smoking mothers may have higher odds of cleft-lip defect

Article-Babies born to smoking mothers may have higher odds of cleft-lip defect

Bergen, Norway — A new study suggests that women who smoke or are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke during pregnancy are more likely to give birth to a child with a cleft lip, reports Reuters Health.

Researchers at the University of Bergen found that babies born to women who smoked more than 10 cigarettes daily during their first trimester were nearly twice as likely to have a cleft lip as were babies born to non-smokers. Nonsmokers who breathe second-hand smoke for at least two hours a day had a 60 percent higher risk of giving birth to babies with a cleft lip.

Past studies have linked mothers’ smoking to cleft lip and, less frequently, cleft palate.

The study was based on an assessment of 1,336 infants, 573 of whom had an oral cleft. The researchers assessed several variations in “detoxification,” genes, which are believed to help the body rid itself of tobacco-smoke toxins. The researchers found that the results were not affected by variants of genes related to detoxification of cigarette-smoke compounds.

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