Smokeless tobacco exposure and fetal iron status: An analytical study

Swathi Rao, Rutuja Agadi, Sukanya Shetty, Raghavendra Rao, Rathika Shenoy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To compare the cord serum ferritin and fetal iron status in newborns with and without maternal occupational smokeless tobacco exposure and determine the influencing factors. Methods: This cross-sectional study included mother-infant dyads with occupational tobacco exposure (exposed) and an unexposed group. Umbilical cord serum ferritin was compared in both groups. Fetal nicotine absorption was established by cord cotinine. Results: A total of 140 newborns each were analyzed in each group. There was no significant mean difference (MD) (P = 0.900) between the cord serum ferritin in the tobacco exposed and unexposed group. Fetal nicotine absorption was seen in 43.6% of the exposed group. Cord serum ferritin was 14.1 μg/L (95% confidence interval [(95% CI:-43.1, 14.9); P=0.338] lower in this group compared with the group without fetal nicotine absorption. A higher adjusted MD for ferritin was present for maternal hypertension (12.5 [95% CI:-75.5, 100.5]; P = 0.777) and gestational diabetes mellitus (21.4 [95% CI:-54.0, 96.9]; P = 0.571) in the group with fetal nicotine absorption. Fetal nicotine absorption exaggerated fetal iron depletion in maternal anemia [aOR 4.8 (95%CI: 1.2, 19.0); P=0.025]. Conclusion: Cord serum ferritin and fetal iron status were comparable in tobacco exposed and unexposed groups. In those with fetal nicotine absorption, cord ferritin levels reflect the fetal inflammatory state.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-91
Number of pages5
JournalIndian Journal of Community Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Partly funded by Nitte deemed to be university Faculty research grant. Grant No: NUFR1/2016/05-06.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Wolters Kluwer Medknow Publications. All rights reserved.


  • Bidi
  • cotinine
  • ferritin
  • nicotine
  • pregnancy

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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