Intergenerational transmission of tobacco smoking: The role of the child's behavioral difficulties. Data from the Danish National Birth cohort (DNBC)

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AIMS: This study explores the role of offspring behavioral difficulties in the intergeneration transmission of tobacco smoking.

METHODS: This longitudinal cohort study is based on children born in Denmark in 1996-2003 participating in the Danish National Birth Cohort (DNBC), followed-up until 18years of age. We included mother-child pairs with complete data regarding the exposure (4 trajectories of maternal daily smoking quantity during pregnancy: low, intermediate/stable, intermediate/decreasing and high), outcome (offspring daily smoking status at 18 years) and mediator (offspring symptoms of hyperactivity-inattention at 11 years), that is 24,588 mother-child pairs.

RESULTS: In our study population, during pregnancy respectively 86.2%, 6.80%, 4.08% and 2.97% mothers belonged to the low, intermediate/stable, intermediate/decreasing and high smoking trajectory groups. After controlling for covariates using propensity scores, the direct effect of maternal smoking in pregnancy on offspring smoking in adolescence was statistically significant, especially when the mother belonged to the intermediate/stable smoking trajectory group (ORIPW = 2.09, 95% CI: 1.70 - 2.61) or to the high smoking trajectory group (ORIPW = 2.08, 95% CI: 1.52 - 3.11) compared to the low smoking trajectory group. None of the indirect effects of maternal smoking in pregnancy were statistically significant, and neither were the proportions mediated.

CONCLUSION: Maternal pregnancy smoking seems to have an influence on offspring smoking in early adulthood, which does not appear to be mediated by offspring behavioral difficulties. Women should be strongly encouraged to quit smoking in pregnancy to reduce both short and long-term health risks among their offspring.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111056
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2023 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

    Research areas

  • Pregnancy, Adolescent, Humans, Female, Adult, Longitudinal Studies, Birth Cohort, Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects/epidemiology, Tobacco Smoking, Mothers, Denmark/epidemiology

ID: 381458289