Background Maternal smoking has been indicated as a risk factor for several health outcomes in the offspring.
Objective The aim of this work was to describe the association between maternal smoking during prenatal and postnatal periods and the offspring's height during adolescence.
Methods The 1993 Pelotas birth cohort (Southern Brazil) has primary data from birth to adolescence with several follow-ups and it comprised 5249 live-born newborns. The follow-up rates at 11 and 15 years old were, respectively: 87.5% and 85.7%. The variable maternal smoking was categorised as: never smoker, only prenatal smoker, only postnatal smoker (during first year of life) and always smoker. Height was used as height for age z-score at 11 and 15 years using WHO curves. The confounding variables taken into account were: maternal height, maternal age, maternal schooling, paternal smoking, family income, sex, skin colour, Tanner's stage and adolescent smoking.
Results After adjustment for potential confounders in a multiple linear regression model, maternal smoking showed a significant and negative association (β values) with height for age z-score: a) at 11 years old [never smoker as the reference]: only prenatal smoker (−0.47), only postnatal smoker (−0.12), always smoker (−0.30) p<0.001; b) at 15 year old: only prenatal smoker (−0.14), only postnatal smoker (−0.12) and always smoker (−0.30) p=0.007.
Conclusion We concluded that maternal smoking has an important effect on adolescence height.
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