Smoking during pregnancy
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YORK, July 3, 2004
Monday, June 9, 2003
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Sons of mothers who
more than 10 cigarettes a day during
mothers did not smoke, according to a new study from Denmark.
In the study, sons of
also tended to have lower
of a hormone that has been
to sperm production and to have sperm that was
dense than ,
"There has been an apparent decline in sperm density during the last
five decades in Denmark, a country in which women have among the highest
of smoking in Europe,"
Dr. Lone Storgaard, of Aarhus University Hospital, and colleagues note
in the journal Epidemiology.
The researchers collected a semen
and a sample from each
of 316 men between November 1999 and May 2000. Mothers of 265 of the men
completed questionnaires on how much they smoked during pregnancy.
After adjusting for age,
smoking status and various other factors, the investigators found that
sperm density was 48 percent lower among sons of mothers who smoked more
than 10 cigarettes a day during pregnancy compared with those whose mothers
did not smoke.
Men whose mothers smoked more than 10 cigarettes per day also had lower
total sperm counts and lower levels of inhibin B, a hormone that has been
linked to sperm production.
These effects were not seen in the sons of women who smoked one to 10
cigarettes per day when they were pregnant, Storgaard and colleagues note.
Storgaard's team speculates that components of tobacco smoke may somehow
affect fetal that
are important for sperm production later in life.
SOURCE: Epidemiology 2003;14:278-286.