A new study indicates that there is a rise in the amount of American women who suffer depression and smoke during pregnancy, US News reports.
The researchers who conducted this study looked at data provided by pregnant women in an annual government health survey. They analyzed the information given by 8,500 participants and discovered a 2.5 percent increase in the rate of depressed pregnant women who smoked between 2002 and 2014.
“An increase in smoking rates in any population is concerning given the general overall downward trends we are seeing today,” commented Renee Goodwin, who led the study and works as an adjunct associate professor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.
According to this study, women who suffer depression are far more likely to smoke while pregnant than women who are not depressed. Roughly 1 in 10 non-depressed women partake in prenatal tobacco use, whereas more than a third of depressed pregnant women smoke.
Goodwin also pointed out various demographic indicators for prenatal smoking. For instance, unmarried women, less educated women, and low income women are more likely to smoke during pregnancy.
“Notably, these are also groups who often have less access to prenatal care,” Goodwin declared.
“Public health campaigns to educate people about the importance of quitting smoking during pregnancy is highly recommended. Treatment for depression in conjunction with smoking cessation efforts may also be the critical component to help women succeed in quitting,” she said.