Research Shows Exposures To Nicotine During Pregnancy Increases Risk Of Sudden Infant Death 

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The risk of sudden infant death is almost three times more if the mother might have used snus, an oral tobacco product, during pregnancy, according to a registry study by Larolinka Institututet researchers. The study published in the Pediatric Research journal indicates that the risk of sudden infant death is less if the mother stops snus before their first prenatal visit. According to researchers, women should avoid nicotine products during pregnancy. 

Sudden infant death is low, but snus or smoking increases the risk

Pediatrician Anna Gunnerbeck at the Astrid Lindgren Children’s Hospital and scientists Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Karolinska Institute said that the good news is that sudden infant death is quite low, but smoking or taking snus when pregnant increases the risk. 

Little study has been conducted on snus or other nicotine products, despite the fact that it’s widely recognized that smoking while pregnant increases the risk of abrupt infant death. The scientists undertook a registry analysis including more than two million infants born in Sweden between 1999 and 2019 to investigate this. Only two infants out of every 10,000 were killed while sleeping during this time. This is known as sudden newborn death.

Snus use during pregnancy increases the risk of sudden infant death

Just over 1% of the mothers who registered for maternal care used snus, and 7% smoked. Snus usage during pregnancy was linked to a three-fold greater likelihood of sudden infant death and a seventy percent rise in the chance of baby death throughout the first year, no matter the cause. Snus’ risks are comparable to moderate smoking, with the highest risk being associated with smoking around ten cigarettes per day.

Quitting smoking and cigarettes during the early stages of pregnancy before the initial appointment at the antenatal clinic reduced the risk relative to continued use. Swedish snus is nicotine rich, but unlike cigarettes, they don’t have combustible products and are considered alongside vaping products to be less harmful products. Since there is a dramatic rise in snus use among young women of fertile age, it is important they be informed about the risks.

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