Purpose: Smoking during pregnancy has several effects and risks on the neonates. The aim is to assess the effects of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke during pregnancy on the antioxidant status of their neonates.
Design: In cord blood samples of 116 healthy newborns which were classified into groups according to mothers smoking status (active, passive or non-smoker), the activities of paraoxanase 1 and aryl esterase, concentrations of free sulfhydryl groups and total antioxidant response were studied using appropriate methods.
Results: Different parameters indicating antioxidant status had similar values in cord blood of term and preterm neonates of active or passive smoke or non-smoker mothers. Only, concentrations of total antioxidant response were statistically different between cord blood of neonates of active or passive smoker mothers and cord blood of term or preterm neonates of non-smoker mothers (1.12 ± 0.1, 1.10 ± 0.08 and 1.28 ± 0.12 mmol trolox equivalent/L, for term neonates, 0.95 ± 0.0, 1.07 ± 0.13 and 1.22 ± 0.02 mmol trolox equivalent/L, for preterm neonates, respectively).
Conclusions: Neonates of active or passive smoker mothers have decreased antioxidant levels in cord blood and may be exposed to an oxidative stress greater.