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Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2005 Sep;159(9):824-34.

Acute neonatal effects of cocaine exposure during pregnancy.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, FL 33101, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To identify associations between cocaine exposure during pregnancy and medical conditions in newborn infants from birth through hospital discharge.

DESIGN:

Multisite, prospective, randomized study.

SETTING:

Brown University, University of Miami, University of Tennessee (Memphis), and Wayne State University. Subjects A total of 717 cocaine-exposed infants and 7442 nonexposed infants.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Results of physical examination and conditions observed during hospitalization.

RESULTS:

Cocaine-exposed infants were about 1.2 weeks younger, weighed 536 g less, measured 2.6 cm shorter, and had head circumference 1.5 cm smaller than nonexposed infants (all P<.001). Results did not confirm previously reported abnormalities. Central and autonomic nervous system symptoms were more frequent in the exposed group: jittery/tremors (adjusted odds ratio, 2.17; 99% confidence interval, 1.44-3.29), high-pitched cry (2.44; 1.06-5.66), irritability (1.81; 1.18-2.80), excessive suck (3.58; 1.63-7.88), hyperalertness (7.78; 1.72-35.06), and autonomic instability (2.64; 1.17-5.95). No differences were detected in organ systems by ultrasound examination. Exposed infants had more infections (3.09; 1.76-5.45), including hepatitis (13.46; 7.46-24.29), syphilis (8.84; 3.74-20.88), and human immunodeficiency virus exposure (12.37; 2.20-69.51); were less often breastfed (0.26; 0.15-0.44); had more child protective services referrals (48.92; 28.77-83.20); and were more often not living with their biological mother (18.70; 10.53-33.20).

CONCLUSIONS:

Central and autonomic nervous system symptoms were more frequent in the exposed cohort and persisted in an adjusted analysis. They were usually transient and may be a true cocaine effect. Abnormal anatomic outcomes previously reported were not confirmed. Increased infections, particularly sexually transmitted diseases, pose a serious public health challenge. Exposure increased involvement of child protective services and out-of-home placement.

PMID:
16143741
DOI:
10.1001/archpedi.159.9.824
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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