• Smoking;
  • fetal growth;
  • anthropometry

The influence on neonatal anthropometry of maternal cigarette smoking in pregnancy was investigated in 933 parous women. Anthropometric growth parameters including skinfold measurements were studied in the newborns. After adjustment for maternal age, pre-pregnancy weight, height and pregnancy weight gain, smoking had a clear dose-dependent negative effect on all anthropometric characteristics in the infant. In contrast to the results obtained in other investigations, the reduced birth weight of the infants of smoking mothers was not found to be primarily due to a reduction in lean body mass; nor was fat deposition found to be reduced. Fetal anthropometry was also negatively affected in infants born to mothers who stopped smoking during pregnancy.