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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 1996 Oct 18;45(41):887-91.

Population-based prevalence of perinatal exposure to cocaine--Georgia, 1994.


Maternal cocaine use during pregnancy is associated with adverse health effects for both the mother and the infant (e.g., intrauterine growth retardation, placental abruption, preterm delivery, congenital anomalies, and cerebral injury). Because cocaine use often occurs concurrently with use of other substances (e.g., cigarettes and alcohol) and because fear of prosecution may deter women from obtaining medical care, the occurrence of perinatal exposure to cocaine has not been well characterized. In Georgia, the routine collection of dried blood spots (DBSs) from a heelstick of newborns for screening for metabolic diseases enabled the Georgia Chapter of the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, the Georgia Department of Human Resources (DHR), and CDC to collaborate on a feasibility study of the use of residual DBSs for conducting low-cost population-based surveillance for perinatal cocaine exposure. This report presents the findings of the study, which indicate that, in 1994, at least 0.5% of infants in Georgia had had perinatal exposure to cocaine.

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