Women who use marijuana prior to pregnancy can more than double their risk of giving birth prematurely, new research has found.
A study of more than 3,000 women identified the most common risk factors of having a premature birth. Some of these included having a strong family history of underweight babies, having a mother with a history of pre-eclampsia and having a mother with diabetes type 1 or type 2.
Premature birth (at least three weeks before a baby’s due date) can result in serious and sometimes life-threatening health concerns for the baby, as well as a greater chance of developing health problems such as diabetes and heart disease later in life.
Researchers said a stronger understanding of the risk factors involved in premature births could help develop tests to better identify women who may be at risk and protect their babies from longer-term health problems.