Smoking During Pregnancy Changes Baby’s DNA Photo: Thinkstock / The Bump
You’ve probably already heard that smoking during pregnancy could increase baby’s risk of low birth weight and childhood asthma, and a recent study, conducted at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, suggests that it even affects baby’s DNA. In the study, researchers gave questionnaires to the families of 173 children and assessed their mothers’ and grandmothers’ smoking habits during pregnancy, and took DNA samples (via cheek swab) of the moms and kids. The kids whose moms smoked during pregnancy were 2.3 percent more likely to have had DNA methylation in their AXL gene. That gene holds information that can influence a person’s immune response and could play a part in fighting off certain cancers, say researchers in a press release from the American Thoracic Society. Luckily, the grandmas’ smoking habits didn’t seem to affect their grandkids’ genes.
Did you quit smoking when you got pregnant? How did you do it?
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