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Neurotoxicol Teratol. 1987 Jul-Aug;9(4):291-3.

Cocaine use in pregnancy: perinatal morbidity and mortality.

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Department of Pediatrics, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, IL 60611.


With the increasing use of cocaine in the United States, there has been growing concern regarding its effects on the fetuses and neonates of pregnant cocaine abusers. Fifty-two cocaine-using women enrolled in a comprehensive perinatal addiction program were evaluated and compared with 73 women who had used narcotics in the past and were maintained on methadone during pregnancy. The groups were similar in maternal age, socioeconomic status, number of pregnancies and cigarette, marijuana and alcohol use. The cocaine-using women had a significantly higher rate of premature labor, precipitous labor, abruptio placentae, fetal monitor abnormality and fetal meconium staining than the women in the methadone group. Neonatal gestational age, birth weight, length and head circumference were not affected by cocaine use compared to methadone use. However, the Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale revealed that infants exposed to cocaine had significant depression of organizational response to environmental stimuli (state organization) when compared to methadone-exposed infants. In another aspect of the study, an increased rate of SIDS (15%) was found for 66 cocaine-exposed infants as compared to a 4% rate of SIDS in 50 methadone-exposed infants.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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