To evaluate the relationship of antecedent maternal smoking and caffeine consumption habits on the occurrence of apnea in their offspring, rates for central and obstructive apnea were analyzed in a cohort of mother-infant pairs. The mothers of 298 infants with apnea responded to a questionnaire completed prior to a nine-hour polysomnogram performed as part of the patients' evaluations. Cigarette consumption estimates were computed on a 20-cigarette per pack basis, and caffeine intake, based on dietary sources (coffee, tea, chocolate, and colas), was summarized as milligrams of caffeine consumed per day. Rates of central and obstructive apnea of 6 to 10 seconds in duration were calculated. Multiple linear regression analysis determined that smokers tended to be younger and have lower birth weight infants who presented earlier with apnea than infants of nonsmokers. Increased rates of central apnea occurred in infants of smokers as compared with infants of nonsmokers. During pregnancy, a pack per day increase in maternal smoking habit was associated with a 1.88/h increase in central apneas in their offspring (P <.01). Maternal smoking after delivery had a similar relationship. Obstructive apnea rates were similar in both groups. Both central and obstructive apnea rates associated positively with increasing maternal caffeine consumption. Smoking habits and caffeine ingestion were correlated (P < .01). Infants with apnea have greater rates of central apnea when their mothers smoke during pregnancy. Therefore, a history of nicotine consumption should be included in the medical history of infants presenting with apnea.
- Accepted January 22, 1986.
- Copyright © 1986 by the American Academy of Pediatrics