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Arch Fam Med. 1994 Jun;3(6):520-7.

Prenatal drug use in Minneapolis-St Paul, Minn. A 4-year trend.

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Olmsted Medical Group, Rochester, Minn.



To determine the rates of maternal ingestion of cocaine, marijuana, and opiates in women from Minneapolis-St Paul, Minn, in 1993 and compare them with rates observed in 1989; and to compare outcomes of newborns born to those women with and without evidence of prenatal drug ingestion.


The meconium from newborns of a representative cluster-based sample of women from Minneapolis-St Paul was analyzed for metabolites of cocaine, marijuana, and opiates. The newborns were consecutive births in four urban and suburban hospitals. Maternal demographic information and newborn outcome data were collected and matched to the meconium samples. The race, age, and socioeconomic status of the mothers whose newborns were screened were the same as the demographic characteristics of all women delivering babies in Minneapolis-St Paul in 1990 and 1991.


Metropolitan hospitals of Minneapolis-St Paul.


Of the 1333 samples, 27 (2.0%) were cocaine positive, 35 (2.6%) were tetrahydrocannabinol positive, and 16 (1.2%) were opiate positive. There were 168 women (22.6%) reporting that they smoked. Detection of tetrahydrocannabinol and cocaine was more common in newborns of women of color, those receiving medical assistance, and those over age 23 years. Newborns with meconium samples positive for cocaine or tetrahydrocannabinol had slightly lower average birth weights but were no more likely to be premature or to require neonatal intensive care unit admission than newborns with no drugs detected in their meconium. Newborns of mothers who smoked throughout pregnancy had lower average birth weights and higher rates of prematurity and neonatal intensive care unit admissions. Standardized rates of cocaine detection in the four hospitals decreased from 4.0% in 1989 to 2.0% in 1993.


Rates of perinatal cocaine detection have declined in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St Paul over the past 4 years. In this population, self-reported smoking was associated with more serious adverse outcomes of the newborns than was the detection of cocaine, marijuana, or opiates.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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