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Nicotine Addiction Linked to Pregnancy—Your Mom’s Pregnancy

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Nicotine Addiction Linked to Pregnancy—Your Mom’s Pregnancy

nicotine addiction and pregnancy
Habit Forming for Your Kids
For every time you think addiction isn’t complicated, read a story like this. Researchers have linked nicotine addiction in women to their prenatal exposure to stress hormones when their mothers were pregnant. The researchers used information from a study of women’s pregnancy habits, the Collaborative Perinatal Project at Brown University. Their 40-year follow-up, the New England Family Study, studied the children after they grew to adulthood. They found that prenatal exposure to the stress hormone glucocorticoid increased likelihood that the daughter would smoke by 13 percent.  That likelihood increased even more (52 percent) for girls when the mother smoked during pregnancy. It did not show similar effects for sons. The study was published online in the journal Biological Psychiatry. The study shows even more detail about the role of prenatal development and influence on the brain in later life, according to lead researcher Laura Stroud, Ph.D., from the Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine at The Miriam Hospital in Providence, R.I. “While maternal smoking during pregnancy has been shown to be an independent risk factor for nicotine dependence, we didn’t really know – until now – which pathways or mechanisms were responsible.” she said in a press release. Whether the addiction is to nicotine, drugs or alcohol, scientists are learning more each day. Understanding the pathways of addiction in the brain means better ways to treat it.


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