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Am J Dis Child. 1990 Sep;144(9):977-9.

Social and medical problems in children of heroin-addicted parents. A study of 75 patients.

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Department of Pediatrics, Nino Jesus Children's Hospital, Autonoma University of Madrid, Spain.


Between January 1985 and December 1987, seventy-five children of intravenous heroin-addicted parents (one or both) were studied. Their ages ranged from 4 days to 14 years. All patients had suffered from several pediatric diseases. Three major types of problems were found among the children studied: infectious diseases, nutritional diseases, and parental neglect and/or disinterest. The most common diagnoses at discharge were gastroenteritis (24%), pneumonia (21%), malnutrition (17%), upper airway infectious diseases (13%), septicemia (12%), child abuse (4%), acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (3%), and other infectious diseases (24%). Their parents reported hepatitis B virus infection, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), and alcoholism. The unemployment rate among the fathers was 37%. Sixteen percent of mothers were prostitutes. There was an imprisonment record of 19% for mothers and fathers combined. A multidisciplinary approach for this group of children would make prevention possible and care less expensive.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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