We have debated mothers who smoke while pregnant countless times.
However, new (and old) research seems to point clearly to paternal smoking around conception to being directly linked to elevated risks of cancers and leukemia (sometimes as high as 50% more likely, as sesen in the second article).
More here: http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/89/5/348.fullSmoking dads raise kids' leukemia risk
Children with dads who smoke have 15 percent more chance of developing the disease
Children whose fathers smoked have at least a 15 percent higher risk of developing the most common form of childhood cancer, a new Australian study finds. "Paternal smoking seems to be real" as a risk factor, said Patricia Buffler, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who was not involved in the current analysis.
"The importance of tobacco exposure and children's cancers has been overlooked until recently," Buffler told Reuters Health. "So I think this paper is important" in adding to the growing body of evidence.
The research team, led by Dr. Elizabeth Milne at the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research in Australia, surveyed the families of nearly 400 children with acute lymphoblastic
Although ALL is the most common childhood cancer, it is still rare, affecting about three to five children out of every 100,000, according to the National Cancer Institute. More than 1,000 kids die of the disease every year.
The survey asked about the smoking habits of both parents.
Milne and her colleagues compared these families to the families of more than 800 children of similar ages who did not have leukemia.
They found that the mothers' smoking behavior had no impact on the kids' risk of developing the cancer.
But kids whose fathers smoked at all around the time of their conception were 15 percent more likely to develop leukemia. Those whose dads smoked at least 20 cigarettes per day around that time were 44 percent more likely to be diagnosed with the cancer.
A 15 percent increase in the risk of ALL would increase the number of cases from six out of every 200,000 children to seven out of every 200,000.
Of the nine earlier reports that the researchers used in their comparison with the current study, six of them also found an increased risk.
The findings make sense, Buffler said. "Tobacco smoke is full of toxins," including carcinogens, she said, "so it's not unlikely that you'd have damage" in the cells that produce sperm.
"Sperm containing DNA (damage) can still reach and fertilize an ovum, which may lead to disease in the offspring," Milne wrote in an email to Reuters Health.
The study did not prove that DNA damage in the sperm caused by smoking is responsible for the children's increased risk of cancer.
"The causes of ALL are likely to be multifactorial, and our findings relate to just one of the possible contributing factors," said Milne.
She added that her results are not intended to be used to place blame or make parents feel guilty.
Several other environmental factors are also tied to a greater chance of developing childhood leukemia, including ionizing radiation such as x-rays and the mother's exposure to paint or pesticides while pregnant.
Milne said that many of the studies regarding these potential causes have been small, and not conclusive.
Buffler is leading an international consortium of researchers tracking thousands of cases of childhood leukemia to determine the influence of environmental, genetic and other biological factors on developing the disease.
Knowing this, would you judge a father who smokes while TTC the same way you do a mother who smokes while pregnant? Would you willingly conceive a child with a smoker?Using data on 1,549 case-control pairs, Sorohan and colleagues found that children born to heavy-smoking fathers had a nearly 50% increased risk of cancer when the data were adjusted for other variables such as social class, age of father, and obstetric radiography. Because smoking carried little orno social stigma in the 1950s, the investigators believe that self-reports of smoking habits may have been more accurate in the 1950s study than in later studies.?This new study shows that the evidence for a link between smoking and childhood cancer is mounting up,? Sorohan said in a press statement. The report follows a 1995 publication by Sorohan's group, also using Oxford survey data, that similarly reported paternal smoking was associated with British childhood cancer deaths from 1977 to 1981.
Last edited by Potter75; 04-04-2012 at 05:41 PM.
I don't know if I could go so far as to say I wouldn't willingly concieve a child with a smoker. You fall in love with whom you fall in love with. I would like to say that I probably wouldn't but who knows.
As to the question of judgment of a father smoking around a pregnant woman or a child, I would judge them the same as anyone doing that, including the mother. But the rticle seems to be stating that it's not the smoking around the pregnant woman but the smoking at all that effects the sperm. Not sure I buy that.
I totally buy that it damages sperm. And I do agree with you that you can't change who you fall in love with.....but you can change their habits before choosing to do things like TTC with them. I think that it is great that research is proving that the onus is not all on the Mother, for so many years now we have been judged for every thing we put in our body while pregnant ~ did she take prenatals? Eat sushi? Have a dreaded sip of wine? Eat fast food? etc etc etc......and its nice to see that men share a role in the accountability of creating healthy children as well. Knowing this would absolutely affect my decision to TTC with a smoker or not, just like I would assume that if I were a smoker when TTC a man would take that into consideration.
I see a difference between doing something while pregnant (both men and women) and doing something before you get pregnant. This article seem sto be holding men accountable for what they do before their partner gets pregnant and I am sayign that just as I wouldn't harshly judge a woman's behavior before getting pregnant, I personally won't do that to a man either. And none of my pregnancies were instance were we were TTC so I can't relate to the experience of controlling ones behavior to the n-th degree to TTC. And the only experience of choosing someone as my parnter was my husband who I have been with since we were in high school. Therefore, I also don't have the experience of controlling who I chose to have a family with. So I can't say I anything would be a deal breaker so easily because I was meant ot be with the person I am with regardless of whether or not he is the healthiest person to TTC with. I mean really if you look at his health record he would actually be the worst to have children with. Mental issues, diabetes, and 3 heart surgeries since he was 4. So looking just health wise, he would have been a deal breaker from the start. But that was not my criteria. Of course smoking is something that one could control, and I would expect that has he been a smoker (or if I was) that wehn we got pregnat we would have stopped as that would have been a catalyst for doing so. But I didn;t think that is what the article or your point was.
Hmm. I think if my theoretical partner's smoking could have such an impact on my not-yet-conceived child i would definitely want the habit to change before we TTC. The studies presented here make it sounds like a highly significant impact. I think a father should have the same responsibility towards changing ones lifestyle for the sake of their children as a mother should.
As an aside, i really have to say that I do not think i would fall in love with a smoker in the first place, at least not a routine smoker. An occasional smoker i could (like someone who has a cigarette when they go out to drink or something like that). Not because i think they are degenerates, but only because I personally can't stand the smell of smoke and it would be a serious turn off...a very serious turn off.
Never say never and all of that, especially because i won't ever find out, but i think the odds would have been extremely low. All besides the point though...i digress.
What I was saying though was answering the question of whether or not I could TTC with someone who smoked, not whether I would be with someone who would smoke while TTC. To me those are different questions.
If my DH smoked I would totally expect him to quit while we TTC. After all, I did! As for judging someone who didnt though, I wouldnt, especially since this information is not widely known. I might discreetly send them the e-mail though! But I would leave it at that.
Mom to Arianna (5), Conner (3) and Trent (my baby)
I wouldn't judge as I don't judge anyone while ttc. As some of you know, we ttc for some time and if I didn't have a drink here or there I would have probably gone off the deep end. I do think it is interesting that there is proof that father's contribute pre pregnancy though as most of the blame (as usual) lands on the mom no matter what.
Mom to E and C