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Maternal Opioid Use Ups Risk of Neural Tube Defects
A 2.2-fold increase in risk translates to a neural tube defect prevalence of 5.9 per 10,000 live births

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 11 (HealthDay News) -- A higher rate of periconceptional opioid use has been observed among mothers of infants with neural tube defects, according to research published online Sept. 6 in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Mahsa M. Yazdy, Ph.D., of Boston University, and colleagues analyzed data from an ongoing case-control study of birth defects to assess the association between maternal use of opioids and the risk of neural tube defects in offspring.

The researchers found a higher rate of opioid use among mothers of infants with neural tube defects (3.9 percent) compared with mothers of infants without malformations (1.6 percent; adjusted odds ratio [OR], 2.2) and mothers of infants with malformations other than neural tube defects (2.0 percent; adjusted OR, 1.9). A higher rate of opioid use was found among mothers of infants with spina bifida compared with mothers of infants without malformations (adjusted OR, 2.5) and mothers of infants with malformations other than neural tube defects (adjusted OR, 2.2).

"In conclusion, our findings support and extend previous research demonstrating an approximately two-fold higher risk for neural tube defects, and particularly spina bifida, with maternal periconceptional opioid use," the authors write.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies.

Abstract
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