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J Pediatr. 2009 Jul;155(1):39-44, 44.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2009.01.039. Epub 2009 Apr 24.

Maternal corticosteroid use and hypospadias.

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  • 1California Research Division, March of Dimes Foundation, Oakland, CA 94609, USA.



To explore whether women who reported corticosteroid use during pregnancy were more likely to deliver an infant with hypospadias than women who did not.


The analysis encompassed data on deliveries with an estimated due date between 1997 and 2004 from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study, a large population-based, case-control study conducted in the United States. Included were 1165 cases of moderate to severe hypospadias and 3000 nonmalformed male controls.


The mothers of 39 cases (3.3%) and 62 controls (2.1%) reported using a corticosteroid medication during the period extending from 4 weeks before conception to 14 weeks after conception. The odds ratio (OR) for any corticosteroid exposure versus no corticosteroid exposure was 1.6 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.1 to 2.5); after adjustment for maternal race/ethnicity, education, age, and study site, it was 1.3 (95% CI = 0.8 to 2.0). Analyses by route of administration and specific component suggest that elevated ORs occurred only for nasal spray/inhaled corticosteroids (OR = 1.5; 95% CI = 0.9 to 2.6).


Maternal use of corticosteroid medications was weakly associated with risk of hypospadias, but the association was negligible after adjustment for potential confounders.

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