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

1 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

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements Support for the Maternal Lifestyle Study was provided by the National Institutes of Health through the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, with supplemental funding from the National Institute of Mental Health, the Administration on Children, Youth, and Families and the Center for Substance Abuse and Treatment, US Department of Health and Human Services. We are indebted to our medical and nursing colleagues and the infants and their parents who agreed to take part in this study. The following federal grants contributed to this study: Brown University Warren Alpert Medical School Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island (U10 DA24119, U10 HD27904, N01 HD23159); RTI International (U10 HD36790); University of Miami Holtz Children’s Hospital (U10 DA24118, U10 HD21397); University of Tennessee (U10 DA24128, U10 HD21415, U10 HD42638); and Wayne State University Hutzel Women’s Hospital and Children’s Hospital of Michigan (U10 DA24117, U10 HD21385).

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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