Prenatal Opioid Exposure Not Tied to Neuropsychiatric Disorders in Offspring
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Prenatal Opioid Exposure Not Tied to Neuropsychiatric Disorders in Offspring

Prenatal opioid exposure not linked to a clinically meaningful increase in risk for neuropsychiatric disorders

THURSDAY, April 25, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Prenatal opioid exposure seems not to be associated with a meaningful increase in the risk for neuropsychiatric disorders in offspring, according to a study published online April 24 in The BMJ.

Jiseung Kang, Ph.D., from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a nationwide birth cohort study to examine the potential association between prenatal opioid exposure and the risk for neuropsychiatric disorders in children in South Korea. Data were included for 3,128,571 infants, from 2,299,664 mothers; 2,912,559 infants had no prenatal opioid exposure and 216,012 had prenatal opioid exposure. Three cohorts were formed: full unmatched, propensity score-matched, and child screening cohorts, all of which were paired with sibling comparison cohorts.

The researchers found that in children with prenatal opioid exposure, the fully adjusted hazard ratio for neuropsychiatric disorders was 1.07 in the matched cohort, but no significant association was seen in the sibling comparison cohort. Increased risks for neuropsychiatric disorders in children were seen in association with prenatal opioid exposure during the first trimester, higher opioid doses, and long-term opioid use of 60 days or more (hazard ratios, 1.11, 1.15, and 1.95, respectively). A modestly increased risk for severe neuropsychiatric disorders (hazard ratio, 1.30), mood disorders, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and intellectual disability in the child were seen with prenatal opioid exposure.

"Although a slightly increased risk was observed for neuropsychiatric disorders, given the observational nature of the study, these results should not be considered clinically meaningful," the authors write.

One author disclosed ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

Abstract/Full Text

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