Introduction: Studies on the relationship between maternal self-reported smoking status and placental weight report inconsistent results. This study examined the relationships between maternal urinary cotinine concentration and placental weight and the ratio of placental weight to birth weight (PW/BW ratio). The study also examined the relationship between maternal smoking status, as determined by cotinine concentration, with placental weight and with PW/BW ratio, stratified by sex of offspring. Methods: Our analysis used information of 91,049 mother–child pairs enrolled in the Japan Environment and Children's Study. Maternal urinary cotinine concentration was quantified (during the second or third trimester) with high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Using restricted cubic splines, placental weight and PW/BW ratio were plotted against natural log-transformed cotinine concentration. Taking cotinine levels of <0.17 ng/mL, 0.17 to <21.5 ng/mL (natural log-transformed values, −1.77 to 3.07), and ≥21.5 ng/mL as indicative of non-smokers, passive smokers, and active smokers, respectively, the relationships between maternal smoking status and placental weight and PW/BW ratio were examined, adjusting for confounders. Results: Placental weight and PW/BW ratio increased with increasing cotinine concentration. After cotinine reached a certain concentration, the placental weight decreased in male offspring whereas it plateaued in female offspring. Compared with not smoking, active smoking during pregnancy significantly increased placental weight and PW/BW ratio. Conclusion: Placental weight responded as an inverted U-shape whereas the PW/BW ratio followed a J-shape with increasing maternal urinary cotinine concentration measured during pregnancy, suggesting exposure to tobacco smoke induces a disproportionate reduction in fetal growth. The effect of tobacco smoke on placental growth varied by sex of offspring.
- Placental weight to birth weight ratio
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Science(all)