Lassen TH, Madsen M, Skovgaard LT, Strandberg-Larsen K, Olsen J, Andersen A-MN. Maternal use of nicotine replacement therapy during pregnancy and offspring birthweight: a study within the Danish National Birth Cohort. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology 2010; 24: 272–281.
Smoking is a well-established risk factor for fetal growth restriction and other adverse pregnancy outcomes, and nicotine may be one of the chemical compounds that drive these associations. Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is a smoking cessation aid, which can facilitate smoking cessation. It is, however, unknown whether NRT used during pregnancy impairs fetal growth. The aim of this study was to estimate the association between the use of NRT during pregnancy and offspring birthweight. The study population consisted of 72 761 women enrolled in the Danish National Birth Cohort between 1996 and 2002. Information on NRT and potential confounders was obtained from two computer-assisted telephone interviews conducted in the second and third trimesters, respectively. Multiple linear regression in a multilevel model was used to estimate the association between NRT use and birthweight adjusted for gestational age and potential confounders.
The adjusted analyses showed no significant association between the duration of NRT use and birthweight (b = 0.25 g per week of NRT use [95% CI −2.31, 2.81]) and neither was the type of NRT product (patch, gum, inhaler) associated with reduced birthweight. However, simultaneous use of more than one NRT product was associated with reduced birthweight (b = −10.73 g per week of NRT use [95% CI −26.51, 5.05]), although the association was not statistically significant. The results of this study suggest that maternal use of NRT in pregnancy does not seriously affect birthweight, but there could be a negative effect on birthweight associated with simultaneous use of more than one type of NRT product.