PSA: smoking while pregnant is still bad. Write that down.

study of roughly 1300 kids between the ages of 11-12 found that maternal smoking during pregnancy and low birth weight were independently associated with thinner retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL).  Researchers found children of mothers who smoked during pregnancy had a RNFL that was typically 5.7 micrometers thinner than in kids whose mothers didn’t smoke at all while pregnant.  Children with low birth weight were 3.5 micrometers thinner than normal weight children.

The take home: Although the reduction in RNFL thickness is seemingly insignificant, the results of this study “add evidence to existing recommendations to avoid smoking during pregnancy and support measures that promote maternal and fetal health”.

Jaclyn Garlich
Dr. Garlich graduated from the New England College of Optometry in 2010 and completed a residency in primary care and ocular disease at the St. Louis VA. In 2013, she developed an optometry clinical reference mobile app available in the iTunes store. In 2016, she founded 20/20 Glance, a weekly optometry newsletter that gives a rundown on clinically relevant optometry news in an easy to digest format.

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