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J Reprod Med. 1990 Feb;35(2):159-62.

Maternal and fetal effects of heroin addiction during pregnancy.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas 75235-9032.


Heroin addiction during pregnancy has been reported to be associated with adverse maternal and perinatal effects. In a study of a large obstetric service in Dallas, pregnancy outcome and health status of infants born to 24 heroin addicts were compared to those in a group of 100 unexposed women and their infants. Women who used heroin during pregnancy tended to use other substances (tobacco, alcohol, cocaine) more often than did controls. The frequency of preterm birth was increased significantly in women who abused heroin during pregnancy. Sexually transmitted diseases were not increased in frequency in pregnant heroin addicts as compared to women who did not use heroin during pregnancy. Heroin addicts had infants who were significantly shorter and lighter in weight than did controls. No significant differences in head circumference or frequency of congenital anomalies were observed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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