The more you are exposed to nicotine during pregnancy, the more are the chances for your baby to develop schizophrenia, revealed a new study.
The Finland study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry
analyzed data on 1,000 schizophrenia patients and compared their birth and health records with those of non-affected 'control' individuals.
‘Smoking during pregnancy can increase the chances of the baby to develop schizophrenia by 38%.’
Nicotine is known to cross the placenta and enter the fetal bloodstream and can lead to development problems in babies. Therefore, blood tests to identify a nicotine marker called as cotinine was carried out among the mothers during first and second trimester of pregnancy.
The test results showed that 20% of mothers of schizophrenia patients had smoked heavily during pregnancy than 14.7 % of mothers of controls.
The study concluded that nicotine exposure during pregnancy increased babies risk of developing schizophrenia by 38%.
Senior researcher Professor Alan Brown, from the University of Columbia, New York, said, "To our knowledge, this is the first biomarker-based study to show a relationship between fetal nicotine exposure and schizophrenia."