In an Acta Ophthalmologica analysis of 11 relevant articles, maternal smoking during pregnancy was associated with a 46 percent increased risk that offspring will develop strabismus--one of the most prevalent eye-related diseases among children. Maternal smoking of ?10 cigarettes per day during pregnancy was linked with a 79 percent increased risk of strabismus in offspring.
In children with strabismus, the eyes do not properly align with each other. This can contribute to visual impairment and emotional problems.
"Maternal smoking during pregnancy is an important public health problem, particularly in developed countries, and its effect on offspring eye health deserves our attention," said senior author Dr. Zuxun Lu, of the Huazhong University of Science and Technology, in China.