Drug-Related Infant Mortality Increased Significantly From 2018 to 2022

Deaths occurred predominantly in the postneonatal period
nicu infant premature
Adobe Stock
Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

WEDNESDAY, June 19, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Drug-related infant mortality increased significantly from 2018 to 2022, according to a study published online May 22 in the Journal of Perinatal Medicine.

Panagiota Kitsantas, Ph.D., from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, and colleagues used data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Wide-ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research to explore temporal trends in drug-related infant deaths in the United States from 2018 to 2022.

The researchers found a significant 2.2-fold increase in drug-involved infant mortality during the study period. Compared with the neonatal period, drug-involved infant deaths were more likely to occur in the postneonatal period, defined as ages 28 to 364 days (81.4 percent). The most common underlying causes of death included assault (homicide) by drugs, medicaments and biological substances (35.6 percent), followed by poisoning due to exposure to narcotics and psychodysleptics (hallucinogens; 15.6 percent). The most common multiple causes of drug-involved infant deaths included psychostimulants with abuse potential of synthetic narcotics.

"Effective strategies to reduce drug-involved infant deaths will require preventing and treating maternal substance use disorders, enhancing prenatal care access, and addressing broader social and behavioral risk factors among vulnerable maternal and infant populations," the authors write.

Abstract/Full Text

Related Stories

No stories found.