Investigating the effects of tobacco smoke exposure, maternal stress and the risk of preterm birth and low birth weight in Calgary, Alberta: A nested case-control study


Primary Investigator: Dr. Shelby Yamamoto, University of Alberta

Overview: Infants with low birth weights or who are born too early (preterm birth) are at increased risk of short and long-term health and developmental effects such as respiratory problems, chronic diseases and learning disabilities. We examine factors such as smoking or stress during pregnancy that may lead to these birth outcomes so we can identify ways to prevent this from occurring. A limitation of our current approach is that we investigate factors individually. The pathways leading to preterm birth and low birth weight likely involve several factors, which may interact to change risks beyond those seen from individual factors alone. In this study, we propose to investigate the interaction of two known risk factors (tobacco smoke exposure and stress during pregnancy) for preterm birth and low birth weight in women in Calgary. The aim of this research is to help identify and support women who may be vulnerable to giving birth to infants that are preterm or have low birth weight.