Smoking Increases Risk of Webbed or extra Toes and
Fingers – Cosmetic Surgery
There is a new reason for pregnant women to quit smoking. According to
a study authored by Dr. Benjamin Chang, of the University of
Pennsylvania, smoking during pregnancy will greatly increase the risk of
having a baby with toe or finger deformities.
The study included 6.8 million births in the United States during 2001
and 2002. There were 5,171 children with either webbed or missing
fingers or toes, and some children with extra toes or fingers, born to
women that smoked during their pregnancy. These mothers did not report
other health factors including heart disease, diabetes or high blood
According to Dr. Chang "The results of this study were interesting. We
suspected that smoking was a cause of digital anomalies but didn't
expect the results to be so dramatic."
Women who smoked one to 10 cigarettes while they were pregnant had a 29%
greater risk of having a child with a finger or toe deformity. As the
number of cigarettes increases so did the risk. Women that smoked 11 to
20 cigarettes per day increased their chances to 38%. Smoking more than
20 cigarettes per day raised the risk by 78%.
Dr. Chang went on to say “Smoking is so addictive that pregnant women
often can't stop the habit, no matter what the consequences. Our hope is
this study will show expectant mothers another danger of lighting up."
According to Dr. Chang, these are the most common abnormalities he
treats. Webbed toes or fingers occur once in every 2,000 to 2,500 live
births in the US. Extra or missing digits occur in one in 600 live
There are surgical procedures to correct some of these defects.
According to the enotes website “the long and ring fingers or the second
and third toes are most often affected. Generally, syndactyly repairs
are done between the ages of six months and two years.”
According to Chang "Parents would ask why this happened to their child,
but I didn't have an answer. This study shows that even minimal smoking
during pregnancy can significantly increase the risk of having a child
with various toe and finger defects." The study appears in the January
issue of the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
Best Syndication Staff Writer
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Keywords and misspellings: cosmetic sergery sergury