The aim of the research in this thesis was to assess, through cross-sectional school child health surveys, the health and
nutrition of primary school children (5-11 years) in Merseyside, England, in relation to their mother’s history of pregnancy
smoking. Childhood health outcomes assessed included obesity, overweight, short stature, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
(ADHD), asthma, and the fetal sex ratio. Pathophysiological mechanisms which may underlie these health associations with pregnancy
smoking are considered. Trends in prevalence of childhood and parental asthma in Merseyside between 1991-2006 were estimated
and compared with the concurrent pattern of pregnancy smoking. Factors related to parental compliance in completion of the
school based questionnaires were evaluated.
The results of this study should help to create awareness among women who smoke of the detrimental effects of smoking in pregnancy
on their child. Smoking prevalence among pregnant women in Liverpool is one of the highest in the UK, and greater efforts
are required to highlight its adverse effects on children, in order to encourage women to take responsibility for the effects
of their actions on the child.
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