PMID: 11489591Aug 8, 2001Paper

Fetal effects of cocaine: an updated meta-analysis

Reproductive Toxicology
A AddisG Koren


A very large number of women in the reproductive age group consume cocaine, leading to grave concerns regarding the long term health of millions of children after in utero exposure. The results of controlled studies have been contradictory, leading to confusion, and, possible, misinformation and misperception of teratogenic risk. To systematically review available data on pregnancy outcome when the mother consumed cocaine. A meta-analysis of all epidemiologic studies based on a priori criteria was conducted. Comparisons of adverse events in subgroups of exposed vs. unexposed children were performed. Analyses were based on several exposure groups: mainly cocaine, cocaine plus polydrug, polydrug but no cocaine, and drug free. Thirty three studies met our inclusion criteria. For all end points of interest (rates of major malformations, low birth weight, prematurity, placental abruption, premature rupture of membrane [PROM], and mean birth weight, length and head circumference), cocaine-exposed infants had higher risks than children of women not exposed to any drug. However, most of these adverse effects were nullified when cocaine exposed children were compared to children exposed to polydrug but no cocaine. Only the risk of place...Continue Reading


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