Association of prenatal opiate exposure with youth outcomes assessed from infancy through adolescence

Charles R. Bauer, John Langer, Brittany Lambert-Brown, Seetha Shankaran, Henrietta S. Bada, Barry Lester, Lynn L. Lagasse, Toni Whitaker, Jane Hammond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective: This study examined acute findings and long-term outcome trajectories between birth and adolescence in children with prenatal opiate exposure. Study Design: Ninety children (45 opiate-exposed, 45 non-exposed) completed assessments between 1 month and 15 years of age. Outcome variables (medical, anthropomorphic, developmental, and behavioral) were analyzed at individual time points and using longitudinal statistical modeling. Results: Opiate-exposed infants displayed transient neurologic findings, but no substantial signs or symptoms long term. There were no group differences in growth, cognitive functioning, or behavior at individual time periods; however, the trajectories of outcomes using longitudinal analyses adjusting for variables known to impact outcome demonstrated increased deficits among opiate-exposed children over time with regards to weight, head circumference, cognitive functioning, and behavior. Conclusions: Findings support concerns that maternal opiate use during pregnancy may negatively impact a child’s developmental trajectory, which in turn may impose concerns to society (e.g., increased need for social, medical, and/or educational services).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1056-1065
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Perinatology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature America, Inc.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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