Self-Reported Maternal Cigarette Smoke Exposure during the Periconceptional Period and the Risk for Omphalocoele




We investigated whether maternal exposure to cigarette smoke was associated with omphalocoele and whether periconceptional folic acid modified the association.


We analysed data from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study on omphalocoele case (n = 301) and control (n = 8135) mothers for infants born from 1997 through 2007. Mothers who reported active smoking or exposure to second-hand smoke during the periconceptional period (1 month before conception to 3 months after) were considered exposed. Those who reported use of folic acid supplements during the same period were considered supplement users. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were estimated using multivariable logistic regression adjusted for alcohol use, preconception body mass index, and race/ethnicity.


One hundred fifteen (38.2%) case and 2592 (31.9%) control mothers reported exposure to cigarette smoke during the periconceptional period. Adjusted odds ratios [95% confidence intervals] were 1.19 [0.94, 1.53] for any smoke exposure, 0.87 [0.54, 1.40] for active smoking, 1.38 [1.00, 1.90] for second-hand smoke exposure, and 1.16 [0.80, 1.67] for both exposures combined. No dose–response relationship was observed. Folic acid-containing supplements did not reduce the risk for omphalocoele among women with active or second-hand smoke exposure.


Self-reported active maternal smoking, with or without exposure to second-hand smoke, during the periconceptional period was not associated with omphalocoele. In contrast, there was a possible association with periconceptional exposure to second-hand smoke.