Stillbirth higher among women consuming alcohol, tobacco, reveals research from Odisha

Burla has revealed that women addicted to consumption of tobacco and alcohol are 5.8 times at a higher risk of delivering stillborn babies. 

Published: 02nd June 2023 11:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd June 2023 11:21 AM   |  A+A-

Infant , infant death , baby , infanticide


Express News Service

SAMBALPUR:  A recent study by some doctors of Veer Surendra Sai Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (VIMSAR), Burla has revealed that women addicted to consumption of tobacco and alcohol are 5.8 times at a higher risk of delivering stillborn babies. 

The study was conducted by a group of four researchers including Dr Ojaswini Patel, Dr Pranati Pradhan and Dr Prerana Das of department of Obstetrics and Gynecology (O&G) besides Dr Sanjeeb Kumar Mishra of department of Community Medicine during a period of one year, from June 2022 to May 2023.

One of the researchers Sanjeeb Kumar Mishra said of the 2.6 million stillbirths reported all around the world every year, around one-sixth was witnessed in India in 2019 where Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh formed a contiguous east-west belt of high stillbirth rate.

“Since the issue had not yet received due attention, we decided to conduct this case-control study to determine the placental pathologies and maternal factors associated with stillbirths at VIMSAR. The knowledge gained through this study may help identify preventive measures that would lower stillbirth rates,” he added.

The study included pregnant women with a gestational period of 28 weeks or more, who delivered stillbirths at the O&G department at VIMSAR, Burla.  Of the final sample size of 158 pregnant women, as many as 79 women delivered stillborn children during the period of research.

Among several factors, the study found significant association between advanced maternal age, low education of mother, lack of care with stillbirths. However, the chances of stillbirth among women, addicted to tobacco or alcohol, is higher than those who do not use it. 

Mishra informed that consumption of tobacco decreases the foetal oxygenation and vasoconstriction which lead to increased vessel resistance and decreased foetal blood flow. The overall effect is growth retardation inside the uterus. Addiction to tobacco or alcohol was seen in 10 cases out of the 79 incidents that is 12.7 per cent.

“This apart, hypertension during pregnancy, anaemia, premature rupture of membrane and haemorrhage during pregnancy are also among the high risk factors of stillbirths, as per the study. Placental pathologies were also found to be linked with stillbirth like pathology of placental vessels, chronic inflammation, chorioamnionitis and calcium deposits,” he added.


  • Women consuming tobacco, alcohol 5.8 times more at risk of delivering stillborns
  • High rate of stillbirths reported from Odisha, MP, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh 
  • Chances of stillbirth among women aged 30 or above 3.01 times higher than those below 30
  • Hypertention, anaemia among other causes for stillbirth deliveries


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