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Although acetaminophen is widely used in women during pregnancy, its safety has not been clearly stated. The study aimed to investigate the association between acetaminophen use and adverse pregnancy outcomes in pregnant women in China. We conducted a retrospective cohort study by collecting data on pregnant women who delivered in the Beijing Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital from January 2018 to September 2023. An acetaminophen use group and a control group were formed based on prenatal exposure to acetaminophen. The pregnancy outcomes that we focused on were stillbirth, miscarriage, preterm birth, APGAR score, birth weight, and congenital disabilities. Pregnant women exposed to acetaminophen were matched to unexposed in a 1:1 ratio with propensity score matching, using the greedy matching macro. SPSS software was used for statistical analysis. Multivariable logistics regression was used to assess the association between acetaminophen use during pregnancy and adverse pregnancy outcomes. A total of 41,440 pregnant women were included, of whom 501 were exposed to acetaminophen during pregnancy, and 40,939 were not exposed. After the propensity score matching, the acetaminophen use and control groups consisted of 501 pregnant women each. The primary analysis showed that acetaminophen exposure during pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of stillbirth (adjusted OR (aOR) = 2.29, 95% CI, 1.19-4.43), APGAR score < 7 at 1 min (aOR = 3.28, 95% CI, 1.73-6.21), APGAR score < 7 at 5 min (aOR = 3.54, 95% CI, 1.74-7.20), APGAR score < 7 at 10 min (aOR = 3.18, 95% CI, 1.58-6.41), and high birth weight (HBW) (aOR = 1.75, 95% CI, 1.05-2.92). Drug exposure during the first and second trimesters increased the odds of stillbirth, miscarriage, APGAR < 7, and the occurrence of at least one adverse pregnancy outcome. In addition, the frequency of drug use more than two times was associated with a higher risk of preterm birth and APGAR score < 7. Exposure to acetaminophen during pregnancy was significantly associated with the occurrence of adverse pregnancy outcomes, particularly exposure in the first and second trimesters and frequency of use more than twice. It is suggested that acetaminophen should be prescribed with caution in pregnant women. © 2024. The Author(s).


Man Xu, Ran Wang, Boran Du, Ying Zhang, Xin Feng. Association of acetaminophen use with perinatal outcomes among pregnant women: a retrospective cohort study with propensity score matching. BMC pregnancy and childbirth. 2024 Apr 11;24(1):268

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PMID: 38605288

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