Abstract • The impact of maternal opiate dependency on birth weight and head circumference of offspring was studied in 150 mother-infant pairs and 150 controls. Mean birth weight and head circumference of drug-dependent offspring were reduced symmetrically compared with drug-free controls of similar socioeconomic status. Although mean gestational ages and rates of prematurity were similar, intrauterine growth retardation occurred in 20% of passively addicted infants vs 4% of controls. A longer period of methadone maintenance was associated with longer gestation and increased birth weight, while higher methadone dosages were associated with higher birth weights and larger head circumferences. Smoking was associated with reduced birth weight by an average of 160 g per pack of cigarettes smoked per day; longer duration of smoking was associated with reductions in both birth weight and head circumference. These data suggest therapeutic strategies to improve these fetal growth characteristics and perhaps improve neurobehavioral outcome of drug-dependent newborns. (AJDC 1987;141:1163-1167) References 1. Finnegan LP: The effect of narcotics and alcohol on pregnancy and the newborn . Ann NY Acad Sci 1981;362:136-157.Crossref 2. Harper RG, Solish GI, Purow HM, et al: The effect of a methadone treatment program upon pregnant heroin addicts and their newborn infants . Pediatrics 1974;54:300-305. 3. Strauss ME, Starr RH, Ostrea EM, et al: Behavioral concomitants of prenatal addiction to narcotics . J Pediatr 1976;89:842-846.Crossref 4. Kandall SR, Albin S, Gartner LM, et al: The narcotic dependent mother: Fetal and neonatal consequences . Early Hum Dev 1977;1/2:159-169.Crossref 5. Kandall SR, Albin S, Lowinson J, et al: Differential effects of maternal heroin and methadone use on birthweight . Pediatrics 1976;58: 681-685. 6. 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Naeye R: Influence of maternal cigarette smoking during pregnancy on fetal and childhood growth . Obstet Gynecol 1981;57:18-20. 26. Sexton MS, Hebel R: A clinical trial of change in maternal smoking and its effect on birth weight . JAMA 1984;251:911-915.Crossref 27. Naeye RL: The duration of maternal cigarette smoking, fetal and placental disorders . Early Hum Dev 1979;3/3:229-237.Crossref 28. Clarren SK, Smith DW: The fetal alcohol syndrome . N Engl J Med 1978;298:1063-1067.Crossref 29. Gordis E, Kreek MJ: Alcoholism and drug addiction in pregnancy . Curr Probl Obstet Gynecol Fertil 1977;1:5-48. 30. Koops BL, Morgan LJ, Battaglia FC: Neonatal mortality risk in relation to birth weight and gestational age: Update . J Pediatr 1982;101: 969-977.Crossref 31. Lipper E, Lee K, Gartner LM, et al: Determinants of neurobehavioral outcome in low-birth-weight infants . Pediatrics 1981;67:502-505. 32. 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American Journal of Diseases of Children – American Medical Association
Published: Nov 1, 1987
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