Smoking May Slow Healing After Cesarean


WASHINGTON — Data from 597 cesarean sections suggest that smoking may slow wound healing, Dr. Cecilia Avila reported in a poster presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Both smoking and chorioamnionitis were significantly associated with wound complications in 20 cases of infection and 10 cases of hematoma that were identified in a case-control review of patients who had cesarean sections during a 7-year period.

Overall, wound complications were about three times more likely in smokers, wrote Dr. Avila of Stony Brook (N.Y.) University Hospital.

About 47% of the patients with wound complications were smokers, compared with 28% of the patients without wound complications.

In addition, chorioamnionitis was about five times more common in patients with wound complications, compared with patients without wound complications (28% vs. 7%).

The independent associations between smoking and wound complications and between chorioamnionitis and wound complications remained significant in a logistic regression analysis, the investigators noted.

Younger maternal age, premature membrane rupture, primary cesarean delivery, and earlier gestational age showed trends toward an association with wound complications, but these associations did not reach statistical significance. No associations were found between wound complications and several other clinical variables including body mass index, diabetes, and substance use.

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