Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Technology
Networks
Scientific Communities
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Tobacco, Drug Use in Pregnancy Can Double Risk of Stillbirth

Published: Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Last Updated: Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Bookmark and Share
NIH network study documents elevated risk associated with marijuana, other substances.

Smoking tobacco or marijuana, taking prescription painkillers, or using illegal drugs during pregnancy is associated with double or even triple the risk of stillbirth, according to research funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Researchers based their findings on measurements of the chemical byproducts of nicotine in maternal blood samples; and cannabis, prescription painkillers and other drugs in umbilical cords.

Taking direct measurements provided more precise information than did previous studies of stillbirth and substance use that relied only on women's self-reporting. The study findings appear in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.

"Smoking is a known risk factor for stillbirth, but this analysis gives us a much clearer picture of the risks than before," said senior author Uma M. Reddy, M.D., MPH, of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the NIH institute that supported the study. "Additionally, results from the latest findings also showed that likely exposure to secondhand smoke can elevate the risk of stillbirth."

Dr. Reddy added, "With the legalization of marijuana in some states, it is especially important for pregnant women and health care providers to be aware that cannabis use can increase stillbirth risk."

The study enrolled women between March 2006 and September 2008 in five geographically defined areas delivering at 59 hospitals participating in the Stillbirth Collaborative Research Network (https://scrn.rti.org/). Women who experienced a stillbirth and those who gave birth to a live infant participated in the study. The researchers tested blood samples at delivery from the two groups of women and the umbilical cords from their deliveries to measure the exposure to the fetus. They also asked participants to self-report smoking and drug use during pregnancy.

Stillbirth occurs when a fetus dies at or after 20 weeks of gestation. While the U.S. stillbirth rate decreased from 18 per 1,000 births in 1950 to 6 per 1,000 births in 2006, it still remains higher than many other developed countries and affects almost 26,000 U.S. newborns per year.

Dr. Reddy collaborated with first author Michael W. Varner, M.D., of the University of Utah School of Medicine, in Salt Lake City, and network researchers from Emory University, in Atlanta, GA; RTI International, in Research Triangle Park, NC; the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston; the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio; Brown University, in Providence, RI, and the NICHD, in Bethesda, MD.

The researchers tested the women's blood for cotinine, a derivative of nicotine, and tested fetal umbilical cords for evidence of several types of drugs. They looked for evidence of the stimulants cocaine and amphetamine; prescription painkillers, such as morphine and codeine, and marijuana. These tests reflect exposure late in pregnancy.

Among the women who had experienced a stillbirth, more than 80 percent showed no traces of cotinine and 93 percent tested negative for the other drugs. In comparison, about 90 percent of women who gave birth to a live infant tested tobacco-free and 96 percent tested negative for other drugs.

Based on the blood test results and women's own responses, the researchers calculated the increased risk of stillbirth for each of the substances they examined:

• Tobacco use - 1.8 to 2.8 times greater risk of stillbirth, with the highest risk found among the heaviest smokers
• Marijuana use - 2.3 times greater risk of stillbirth
• Evidence of any stimulant, marijuana or prescription painkiller use-2.2 times greater risk of stillbirth
• Passive exposure to tobacco - 2.1 times greater risk of stillbirth

The researchers noted that they could not entirely separate the effects of smoking tobacco from those of smoking marijuana.

Only a small number of women tested positive for prescription painkiller use, but there was a trend towards an association of these drugs with an elevated stillbirth risk.

"As about 1 in 20 members of the U.S. population over the age of 12 have used opioid pain relievers non-medically, this finding could affect many pregnant women and calls for more investigation," said study co-author Marian Willinger, Ph.D., also of the NICHD.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,300+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 4,900+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Oxygen Can Impair Cancer Immunotherapy
Researchers have identified a mechanism within the lungs where anticancer immune resposnse is inhibited.
Friday, August 26, 2016
Diagnosing Bacterial Infections in Blood Samples
Researchers have diagnosed a bacterial infection from a blood sample in infants.
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Stem Cell Therapy Heals Injured Mouse Brain
A team of researchers has developed a therapeutic technique that dramatically increases the production of nerve cells in mice with stroke-induced brain damage.
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
New Inflammatory Disease Discovered
NIH researchers have discovered a rare and potentially deadly disease - otulipenia - the mostly affects children.
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Agent Blocks Pain Without Morphine's Side Effects
Scientists have synthesised a molecule with specific pain-relief properties and has shown its efficacy in mice.
Friday, August 19, 2016
Exploring Ebola-Malaria Link
Data shows people infected with Ebola were more likely to survive if co-infected with malarial parasite.
Thursday, August 18, 2016
Public Support for National Study
Survey shows the majority of respondents support or show willingness for national precision medicine study.
Thursday, August 18, 2016
How Parkinson’s Disease Alters Brain Activity Over Time
The NIH study provides a new tool for testing experimental medications aimed at alleviating symptoms and slowing the rate at which the diseases damage the brain.
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Schizophrenia, Autism Share Genetic Causes
Monkey brain developmental atlas pinpoints when, where genes activate.
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Oral Immunotherapy Is Safe, Effective Treatment for Peanut-Allergic Preschoolers
Study demonstrates the potential of peanut OIT to suppress allergic immune responses to peanut.
Friday, August 12, 2016
How Breast Cancers Resist Chemotherapy
Researchers discovered an unexpected way that breast cancers cells with mutant BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes acquire drug resistance and evade chemotherapies.
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Stem Cells Grown On Scaffold Mimic Hip Joint Cartilage
Adult fat-derived stem cells grown on a 3-D scaffold that mimicked a hip joint surface formed cartilage and maintained the correct shape.
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Mutations Linked to Immunotherapy Resistance
Researchers uncover mutations in tumors of three patients with advanced melanoma that allowed the tumors to become resistant to the immune checkpoint inhibitor pembrolizumab (Keytruda®).
Tuesday, August 09, 2016
Using Animal Embryos Containing Human Cells
With recent advances in stem cell and gene editing technologies, an increasing number of researchers are interested in growing human tissues and organs in animals by introducing pluripotent human cells into early animal embryos.
Monday, August 08, 2016
Zika Vaccine Testing in Humans
The NAAID has initiated a clinical trail of a vaccine candidate for the prevention of the Zika virus infection.
Thursday, August 04, 2016
Scientific News
Shedding Light on HIV Vaccine Design
Broadly speaking - Mathematical modelling of host-pathogen coevolution sheds light on HIV vaccine design.
AACC 2016 Sees Clinical Chemistry Labs Drive Precision Medicine Offerings
Biomarker assays to enable precision medicine and risk assessment, mass spec-based tests designed for use in clinical labs large and small, and liquid biopsy technology captured the spotlight at the AACC annual meeting.
Automated Patch Clamping Trends
Learn more about current practices, preferences and metrics in ion channel drug screening using APC technology.
Lab-on-a-Stick: Miniaturised Clinical Testing For Fast Detection Of Antibiotic Resistance
A portable power-free test for the rapid detection of bacterial resistance to antibiotics has been developed by academics at Loughborough University and the University of Reading.
Genetic Ancestry of Cultivated Strawberry Unravelled
UNH scientists constructed a linkage map of the seven chromosomes of the diploid Fragaria iinumae, which allows them to fill in a piece of the genetic puzzle about the eight sets of chromosomes of the cultivated strawberry.
Progress In Vaccination Against Vespid Venom
Researchers at the Helmholtz Zentrum München and the Technical University Munich have presented a method which facilitates a personalised procedure for wasp allergy sufferers.
New Drug Target for Inflammatory Disorders
Penn study finds enigmatic molecules maintain equilibrium between fighting infection and inflammatory havoc.
Breast Cancer Cells Found To Switch Molecular Characteristics
Spontaneous interconversion between HER2-positive and HER2-negative states could contribute to progression, treatment resistance in breast cancer.
Mechanisms of Calcium Blockers
Researchers describe how the fundamental mode of action of two distinct chemical classes of calcium channel blockers differs.
Some Breast Cancer Patients With Low Genetic Risk Could Skip Chemotherapy
Genetic test can help predict survival and guide treatment options.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,300+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,900+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!