Maternal Smoking, Obesity and Male Fetal Sex Predispose to a Large Nuchal Translucency Thickness in Healthy FetusesRode L.a · Ekelund C.a · Pedersen N.G.a · Wøjdemann K.R.a · Christiansen M.b · Sundberg K.a · Tabor A.a
aDepartment of Fetal Medicine and Ultrasound, Rigshospitalet and University of Copenhagen, and bDepartment of Clinical Biochemistry, Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen, Denmark
Department of Fetal Medicine and Ultrasound
4002 Copenhagen University Hospital, Rigshospitalet, Blegdamsvej 9
DK–2100 Copenhagen (Denmark)
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Objectives: Our aim was to evaluate the effect of fetal sex, smoking and body mass index (BMI) on nuchal translucency (NT). Methods: We analyzed data from 7,357 women with a normal singleton live birth outcome with information on smoking, BMI and sex of the infant. NT measurements were converted to multiples of the median (MoMNT) using a previously reported linear regression analysis. Results: The odds ratio (OR) for MoMNT >95th centile was 1.5 (95% CI 1.2–1.9) for smokers compared to nonsmokers and 1.4 (95% CI 1.1–1.7) for male fetuses compared to female fetuses. Obese women (BMI ≧30) had an increased OR for a large NT of 1.7 (95% CI 1.2–2.6) compared to normal weight women. Obese smokers carrying a male fetus had an OR of 4.2 (95% CI 1.7–10.1) of a MoMNT >95th centile compared to normal weight nonsmoking women with a female fetus. The effects of smoking, obesity status and fetal sex were independent of each other. Conclusions: Smoking, obesity and male sex are associated to a MoMNT >95th centile. This may affect screening performance and entail unnecessary anxiety in these women. Further investigations, including fetuses with adverse outcome, are needed.
© 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel
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