Smoking rates are increasing among pregnant women with depression in the U.S., according to a recent study co-authored by a Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH).
Rates for pregnant women with depression climbed 2.5 percent from 2002 to 2014, in contrast to a decrease among other groups, according the study, published online in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.
The researchers evaluated rates of cigarette use among more than 8,500 pregnant women enrolled in the National Study on Drug Use and Health, an annual cross-sectional survey of the U.S. population.
Despite national trends showing a continuing decline in cigarette use over the past decade, there was no overall decline in smoking during pregnancy in the U.S., except for a slight drop in rates among pregnant women without depression. More than one-third of pregnant women with depression smoke cigarettes, compared to one out of 10 pregnant women without depression.
“An increase in smoking rates in any population is concerning, given the general overall downward trends we are seeing today,” said lead author Dr. Renee Goodwin, adjunct associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.