In Utero Cigarette Smoke and Environmental Exposure
A recent study examined the association between prenatal smoking and the affects on pubertal development and hormones. Lutenizing hormone (LH) and inhibin B hormones were monitored to see the affects of both environmental tobacco smoke and prenatal smoking in girls aged six to eleven.
Results showed that girls exposed to prenatal smoke had lower LH and inhibin B levels compared to those not prenatally exposed to smoke. In contrast, environmental tobacco smoke was associated with increased LH levels, however, no major association was not found in inhibin B. These differences in hormonal levels highlight that prenatal and postnatal exposure of smoking is not equivalent when it comes to hormonal effects on the body. It suggests that prenatal exposure to smoke may alter reproductive development resulting in changes in hormone levels at puberty more so than post-natal environmental exposure. Further research is needed to explore other hormonal markers to identify the totality of smoking exposure effect.