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Smoking Contributes to Ectopic Pregnancies [02 /21-3]
Excerpts from: Smoking, Pelvic Infections Up Tubal Pregnancy Risk
Health [02 /19/03]
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Smoking and sexually transmitted pelvic infections can more than triple a woman's risk of having an ectopic pregnancy, French researchers report in the February issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology.
The new findings back up previous research on risk factors associated with the disorder.
An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the fertilized egg is implanted outside the uterus, usually in the fallopian tubes. These pregnancies can result in bleeding and death if the embryo is not removed surgically.
While smoking, infections, past history of ectopic pregnancy, tubal surgery and tubal sterilization can increase the risk, in many cases, the cause is unknown.
Now Dr. Jean Bouyer of The French Institute of Health and Medical Research in Le Kremlin-Bicetre and colleagues report on risk factors for ectopic pregnancy identified in a group of 803 women diagnosed with the condition.
The researchers collected a variety of information from the women including smoking habits, previous spontaneous or surgical abortions, and history of pelvic infection. The women's responses were compared to those from 1,683 women who delivered babies after a normal pregnancy.
Women who reported a past sexually transmitted pelvic infection such as chlamydia had a 3.4-fold increased risk for ectopic pregnancy compared to women who had never had such infections. Smokers were 3.9 times more likely to have an ectopic pregnancy than women who never picked up the habit, the authors report.
Other risk factors associated with ectopic pregnancy, according to the report, included previous miscarriage. The researchers also found that women who'd had medically induced abortions were more likely to have ectopic pregnancy, but these "new findings" must be confirmed by future research, the authors say.
"In terms of public health, increasing awareness of the role of smoking
may be useful in the formation of ectopic pregnancy prevention policies,"
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