Mom's Smoking Tied to Dangerous Gut Illness in Preemies, University of Louisville Study

Mothers who smoke while pregnant may raise the risk that, if born prematurely, their babies will develop a serious and perhaps life-threatening bowel disease known as "necrotizing enterocolitis," a small new study has found. Although its underlying cause is poorly understood, necrotizing enterocolitis poses the most common gastrointestinal emergency in premature babies, the study authors noted. The disease destroys tissue in the lining of the intestinal walls of newborns.

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