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The incidence of methamphetamine use in reproductive-age women across the United States is increasing. The existing literature on methamphetamine use in pregnancy has indicated an elevated risk of adverse maternal and neonatal health outcomes. This study aimed to investigate pregnancy outcomes in patients with recent methamphetamine use compared with patients who received negative test results for methamphetamine at the time of delivery. A single-site retrospective cohort study from January to December 2015 was performed. Patients with a documented urine drug screen during the delivery encounter were identified from the electronic medical records. The outcomes of patients with methamphetamine-positive urine drug screens were compared with controls with urine drug screens negative for methamphetamine. Maternal outcomes of interest included placental abruption, hypertensive disorders, premature preterm rupture of membranes, postpartum hemorrhage, and preterm birth. Utilization of prenatal care, social work consults, and child protective services referrals were also recorded. Neonatal outcomes included birthweight, neonatal intensive care unit length of stay, Apgar scores, and perinatal mortality. The 2 groups had similar demographic characteristics (age, multiparity, ethnicity), with the methamphetamine-positive group more likely to have no or limited prenatal care. Both groups engaged in polysubstance use. A methamphetamine-positive urine drug screen at the time of delivery carries an increased risk of abruption (odds ratio, 5.63; confidence interval, 1.21-26.21) but indicated no increased risk of maternal hypertensive disorders. Additional associated risks include preterm birth (odds ratio, 3.10; confidence interval, 1.44-6.68), lower Apgar scores at 1 and 5 minutes (P=.012 and P=.02, respectively), and increased perinatal mortality (odds ratio, 6.9; confidence interval, 1.01-47.4). Positive urine drug testing for methamphetamines during labor admission confers considerable maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality including an increased risk of placental abruption, preterm birth, and perinatal demise. Given the limited treatments for methamphetamine addiction, further research is urgently needed. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Tiffany Pham, Yolanda Tinajero, Lihong Mo, Jay Schulkin, Loren Schmidt, Brooke Wakeman, Mallory Kremer. Obstetrical and perinatal outcomes of patients with methamphetamine-positive drug screen on labor and delivery. American journal of obstetrics & gynecology MFM. 2020 Nov;2(4):100195

PMID: 33345915

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