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Increased risk of "crossed eyes" with in-utero exposure

Strabismus is a vision problem in which both eyes do not look straight and most frequently occurs in early childhood. A recent study indicates that children whose mothers smoked while they were pregnant are at an increased risk of strabismus. The study is published in the March 25, 2010 edition of the American Journal of Epidemiology. Researchers evaluated the effect of in-utero exposure to maternal smoking and consumption of alcohol, coffee, and tea on the risk of strabismus. Medical records of over 96,000 Danish children born between 1996 and 2003 were studied. What researchers discovered is that there was substantial increased risk of strabismus in children born to mothers who smoked during pregnancy. The risk was increased according to the number of cigarettes smoked per day. There was no increased risk for mothers who had light alcohol consumption or consumed coffee or tea. The conclusion from the study is that children born to mothers who smoke during pregnancy are at an increased risk of strabismus.* Andrea Schumann Staff Writer

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