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New research highlights an important threat to babies' health...a threat that pregnant women can avoid. Hi, I'm Dr. Cindy Haines, host of HealthDay TV. A recent study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine focuses on the harm that smoking during pregnancy can cause. The researchers looked at statistics from 2002 on more than 3 million babies born in the United States.
Smoking during pregnancy was associated with a higher risk of premature delivery. It was also associated with more than double the risk of having a baby born on time but with a low birth weight.
The researchers found that smoking in pregnancy was also linked to a nearly three-fold higher risk of sudden infant death syndrome, as well as a higher risk of death related to premature birth.