Central Australian Aboriginal women’s placental and neonatal outcomes following maternal smokeless tobacco, cigarette or no tobacco use

Central Australian Aboriginal women’s placental and neonatal outcomes following maternal smokeless tobacco, cigarette or no tobacco use Journal Article

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health

  • Author(s): Ratsch, Angela, Bogossian, Fiona, Burmeister, Elizabeth A., Steadman, Kathryn
  • Published: 2021
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
  • ISBN: 1326-0200

Abstract: Objective: To describe the placental characteristics and neonatal outcomes of Central Australian Aboriginal women based on maternal self-report of tobacco use. Methods: Placental and neonatal variables were collected from a prospective maternal cohort of 19 smokeless tobacco chewers, 23 smokers and 31 no-tobacco users. Results: Chewers had the lowest placental weight (460 g) while the no-tobacco group had the heaviest placental weight (565 g). Chewers and the no-tobacco group had placental areas of similar size (285 cm2 and 288 cm2, respectively) while the placentas of smokers were at least 13 cm2 smaller (272 cm2). There were two stillbirths in the study and more than one-third (36%) of neonates (newborns) were admitted to the Special Care Nursery, with the chewers' neonates having a higher admission rate compared with smokers' neonates (44% vs. 23%). The cohort mean birthweight (3348 g) was not significantly different between the groups. When stratified for elevated maternal glucose, the chewers' neonates had the lowest mean birthweight (2906 g) compared to the neonates of the no-tobacco group (3242 g) and smokers (3398 g). Conclusions: This research is the first to demonstrate that the maternal use of Australian Nicotiana spp. (pituri) as smokeless tobacco may negatively impact placental and neonatal outcomes. Implications for public health: Maternal smokeless tobacco use is a potential source of placental and foetal nicotine exposure. Maternal antenatal screening should be expanded to capture a broader range of tobacco and nicotine products, and appropriate cessation support is required.

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Suggested Citation
Ratsch, Angela, Bogossian, Fiona, Burmeister, Elizabeth A., Steadman, Kathryn, 2021, Central Australian Aboriginal women’s placental and neonatal outcomes following maternal smokeless tobacco, cigarette or no tobacco use, Journal Article, viewed 22 June 2024, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=28291.

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