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Therapeutic Drugs, Recreational Drugs and Lifestyle Factors

  • Frank D. Johnstone
  • David C. Howe

Abstract

Fetal growth is necessarily the result of genetic potential modified by exposure to environmental factors. The fetal environment is of course dictated entirely by maternal physiology, but this in turn is dependent upon the environment to which the mother is exposed. Drugs ingested by the mother are an obvious environmental agent with the potential to affect fetal growth either directly through toxic actions on proliferating cells, or indirectly by altering placental transfer of oxygen and metabolic substrate. In the broadest sense, however, environmental factors might encompass maternal lifestyle and a wide range of variables that are often difficult to precisely define and quantify. For example, low socioeconomic status is linked to many indices of poor health and it is perhaps not surprising that it has been suggested to be linked to low birthweight. Associated with low socioeconomic status there may be poor nutritional intake and higher rates of cigarette smoking, and of teenage pregnancy and high parity, all of which potentially influence fetal growth. Teasing out the important variables is often difficult. This chapter focuses on a number of therapeutic and recreational drugs linked with IUGR, and closes with a consideration of certain aspects of maternal lifestyle that have been suggested to be associated with it.

Keywords

Obstet Gynecol Fetal Growth Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia Maternal Smoking Passive Smoking 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frank D. Johnstone
  • David C. Howe

There are no affiliations available

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