(HealthDay News) — Women who were ever smokers during their reproductive years and those never-smoking women with the highest levels of secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure have significantly increased odds for spontaneous abortion, stillbirth, and tubal ectopic pregnancy, according to a study published online February 26 in Tobacco Control.

Andrew Hyland, PhD, from the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, NY, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional analysis of historical reproductive data for 80,762 women who participated in the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study. The associations between self-reported lifetime active and passive tobacco smoke exposure and self-reported spontaneous abortions, stillbirths, and ectopic pregnancies were evaluated.

The researchers found that participants who were ever active smokers during their reproductive years had odds ratios of 1.16, 1.44, and 1.43 for one or more spontaneous abortions, one or more stillbirths, and one or more ectopic pregnancies, respectively, compared with never-smoking women. Compared with never-smoking women with no SHS exposure, never-smoking women participants with the highest levels of lifetime SHS exposure (childhood >10 years, adult home >20 years, and adult work exposure >10 years) had adjusted odds ratios of 1.17, 1.55, and 1.61, respectively, for spontaneous abortion, stillbirth, and ectopic pregnancy.

“Continuing evolution of policies to eliminate SHS would be expected to protect women and their future children,” the authors write.

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