Misclassification of maternal smoking status and its effects on epidemiologic study of pregnancy outcomes

Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Nicotine & Tobacco Research (Impact Factor: 3.3). 11/2007; 9(10):1005-13. DOI: 10.1080/14622200701491255
Source: PubMed


Reliance on self-reported smoking status among pregnant women can result in exposure misclassification. We used data from the Calcium for Preeclampsia Prevention trial, a randomized study of nulliparous women conducted from 1992 to 1995, to characterize tobacco exposure misclassification among women who reported at study enrollment that they had quit smoking. Urinary cotinine concentration was used to validate quit status, and factors associated with exposure misclassification and the effects of misclassification on associations between smoking and pregnancy outcomes were evaluated using logistic regression. Of 4,289 women enrolled, 508 were self-reported smokers and 771 were self-reported quitters. Of 737 self-reported quitters with a valid cotinine measurement, 21.6% had evidence of active smoking and were reclassified as smokers. Women who reported having quit smoking during pregnancy were more likely to be reclassified than women who reported quitting before pregnancy (p<.001). Among smokers, factors independently associated with misclassification of smoking status included fewer cigarettes smoked per day and fewer years smoked. After reclassification the odds ratio for a small-for-gestational-age birth among smokers decreased by 14%, and the smoking-related reduction in birth weight decreased by 15%. Effects of misclassification on the association with hypertensive disorders of pregnancy were present but less dramatic. In conclusion, use of self-reported smoking status collected at the time of study enrollment resulted in the introduction of bias into our study of smoking and pregnancy outcomes. The potential for this type of bias should be considered when conducting and interpreting epidemiologic studies of smoking and pregnancy outcomes.

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    • "In addition, previous studies have demonstrated good agreement between maternal report of partners’ smoking and data reported by the partners themselves [42]. Nevertheless, misclassification of parental smoking cannot be ruled out as other studies have observed underreporting of smoking among pregnant women [51]. Although no data are available on prevalence of maternal smoking during pregnancy in Belarus, the 2000 Belarusian National Household Survey reported a current smoking prevalence among women of 9%, [52] much lower than that in Western developed countries. "
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    ABSTRACT: Studies on adverse childhood health and development outcomes associated with parental smoking have shown inconsistent results. Using a cohort of Belarusian children, we examined differences in cognition, behaviors, growth, adiposity, and blood pressure at 6.5 years according to prenatal and postnatal exposure to parental smoking. Using cluster-adjusted multivariable regression, effects of exposure to prenatal smoking were examined by comparing (1) children whose mothers smoked during pregnancy with those of mothers who smoked neither during nor after pregnancy and (2) children whose mothers smoked during and after pregnancy with those whose mothers smoked after pregnancy only; effects of postnatal smoking were examined by comparing (1) children whose mothers smoked after pregnancy only with those of mothers who smoked neither during nor after pregnancy and (2) children whose fathers smoked with those whose fathers did not smoke among children of non-smoking mothers after adjusting for a wide range of socioeconomic and family characteristics. After adjusting for confounders, children exposed vs unexposed to prenatal maternal smoking had no differences in mean IQ, teacher-rated behavioral problems, adiposity, or blood pressure. Children exposed to maternal postnatal smoking had slightly increased behavioral problems [0.9, 95% CI: 0.6, 1.2 for total difficulties], higher body mass index [0.2, 95% CI: 0.1, 0.3], greater total skinfold thickness [0.4, 95% CI: 0.04, 0.71], and higher odds of overweight or obesity [1.4, 95 % CI; 1.1, 1.7]. Similar magnitudes of association were observed with postnatal paternal smoking. No adverse cognitive, behavioral and developmental outcomes were associated with exposure to maternal prenatal smoking. Observed associations with postnatal smoking of both parents may reflect residual confounding by genetic and family environmental factors.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2013 · BMC Pediatrics
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    • "Another potential limitation of this study is that the measures of smoking status were self-reported and did not include biochemical validation of tobacco use. Studies have shown that self-reported measures of smoking status may be underestimated [25–27], and also, quitting smoking rates in pregnant women may be overestimated [28]. However, research has also shown that the accuracy of self-reported smoking status varies according to the settings in which the questions are asked. "
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    ABSTRACT: Data for this study were obtained from a population-based follow-up study in 25 Italian Local Health Units (LHUs) to evaluate pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum care in Italy. A sample of 3534 women was recruited and interviewed within a few days of their giving birth and at 3, 6, and 12 months after delivery, by trained interviewers using questionnaires. The objective of the study was to evaluate changes in smoking behaviour from one interview to the next. Of 2546 women who completed the follow-up, smoking prevalences before and during pregnancy were 21.6% and 6.7%; smoking prevalences and smoking relapse at 3, 6, and 12 months were 8.1% and 18.5%, 10.3% and 30.3%, and 10.9% and 32.3%, respectively. Smoking during and after pregnancy was more likely among women who were less educated, single, not attending antenatal classes, employed, and not breastfeeding. The results show that women who are breastfeeding smoke less than not breastfeeding women, even after controlling for other predictors (i.e.,  smoking relapse at 12 months: OR = 0.43, 95%  CI:  0.19, 0.94). A low maternal mood increases the risk of smoking relapse within 6 months of about 73%. This study also suggests that prolonged breastfeeding reduces the risk of smoking relapse and that this reduction may be persistent in time. Interventions targeting breastfeeding promotion may also indirectly support smoking cessation, even in absence of specific interventions.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2012 · The Scientific World Journal
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    • "Another potential limitation is the self-reporting bias of cigarette consumption. Self-reported smoking status among pregnant women is susceptible to bias, and may lead to attenuation of the true effect of smoking on birth outcomes [37]. Rates of misclassification in the United States using data collected from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) estimated non-disclosure to be around 20% [38]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Smoking during pregnancy is associated with known adverse perinatal and obstetrical outcomes as well as with socio-economic, demographic and other behavioural risk factors that independently influence outcomes. Using a large population-based perinatal registry, we assess the quantity of cigarettes smoked for the magnitude of adverse birth outcomes and also the association of other socio-economic and behavioural risk factors documented within the registry that influence pregnancy outcomes. Our goal was to determine whether number of cigarettes smoked could identify those in greatest need for comprehensive intervention programs to improve outcomes. Our population-based retrospective study of singleton births from 2001 to 2006 (N = 237,470) utilized data obtained from the BC Perinatal Database Registry. Smoking data, self reported at the earliest prenatal visit, was categorized as: never, former, light (1 to 4), moderate (5 to 9), or heavy smoker (10 or more per day). Crude and adjusted odds ratios (AOR) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were calculated using logistic regression models for smoking frequency and adverse birth outcomes. A partial proportional odds (pp-odds) model was used to determine the association between smoking status and other risk factors. There were 233,891 singleton births with available smoking status data. A significant dose-dependent increase in risk was observed for the adverse birth outcomes small-for-gestational age, term low birth weight and intra-uterine growth restriction. Results from the pp-odds model indicate heavy smokers were more likely to have not graduated high school: AOR (95% CI) = 3.80 (3.41-4.25); be a single parent: 2.27 (2.14-2.42); have indication of drug or alcohol use: 7.65 (6.99-8.39) and 2.20 (1.88-2.59) respectively, attend fewer than 4 prenatal care visits: 1.39 (1.23-1.58), and be multiparous: 1.59 (1.51-1.68) compared to light, moderate and non-smokers combined. Our data suggests that self reports of heavy smoking early in pregnancy could be used as a marker for lifestyle risk factors that in combination with smoking influence birth outcomes. This information may be used for planning targeted intervention programs for not only smoking cessation, but potentially other support services such as nutrition and healthy pregnancy education.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2012 · BMC Public Health
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