There's a significant link between smoking and mental disorders in pregnant women and the presence of these disorders may make it more difficult for these women to quit smoking, says a US study in the April issue of the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Researchers found that 21.7 percent of the 1 516 pregnant women in the study smoked cigarettes and of those, 57.2 percent were nicotine dependent. Based on those figures, the researchers estimated that 12.4 percent of pregnant women in the United States are addicted to cigarettes.
The study also found that pregnant women who were nicotine dependent were more likely to meet the criteria for at least one mental disorder than pregnant women who did not smoke. Researchers said there were significant associations between smoking and panic disorder, major depression, and dysthymia (a chronic depressive condition).
"Understanding that these co-morbidities exist may shed light on why some women are unable to abstain from smoking during pregnancy even though they understand the negative health impact for them and their unborn children," Dr Nora D. Volkow, director of the US National Institute on Drug Abuse, said in a prepared statement. The institute helped fund the study.
"There is tremendous value in screening pregnant women who are unable to abstain from smoking for mental disorders - to not only identify and treat those who have been undiagnosed but also to improve successful quit-smoking attempts," Volkow said. – (HealthDayNews)
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