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The effects of prenatal tobacco exposure on the brain

Kruk, Ryan (2014) The effects of prenatal tobacco exposure on the brain. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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Tobacco use is associated with well-established negative health effects. However, tobacco is still being used by up to 25% of women during pregnancy. Prenatal tobacco exposure (PTE) is especially harmful to the brain, leading to potentially long term negative health outcomes. This review looks at the problems of prenatal tobacco exposure and some determinants of maternal smoking, then more specifically analyzes the variety of effects of PTE on the brain that have been found in recent research. A literature search was conducted in order to study the effects of prenatal tobacco exposure on the human brain. The research articles were selected based upon the populations studied, the measures utilized and the resulting outcomes. The health outcomes of each study were recorded and then categorized by type. Effects of PTE were then classified as structural, functional, or behavioral effects. The synthesis of this research suggests a temporal development of PTE outcomes on the brain. The structural effects influence the functional, which influence the behavioral, leading to a progression of adverse outcomes. These negative outcomes have been identified at birth and throughout life. The public health significance of this review lies in identifying the negative health effects and outcomes recorded regarding PTE. The results emphasize the importance of working to reduce PTE. By understanding the effects of PTE as well as determinants of maternal smoking, recommendations for public health interventions can be implemented that are specific to the issues associated with PTE, thus having a greater opportunity to produce positive health outcomes in the population.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Kruk, Ryan
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairTerry, Marthamaterry@pitt.eduMATERRYUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberZimmerman, Richard Kzimmer@pitt.eduZIMMERUNSPECIFIED
Date: 22 December 2014
Date Type: Submission
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Date Deposited: 17 Aug 2015 14:27
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2024 11:56

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