Peripartum cocaine use and adverse pregnancy outcome

Bertis B. Little, Laura M. Snell, Kenneth J. Trimmer, Susan M. Ramin, Fred Ghali, Craig A. Blakely, Andrea Garret

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The objective of the study was to analyze possible adverse effects of peripartum cocaine use on maternal and fetal outcomes. Informed consent was given by 720 (97%) of 740 women who delivered consecutively at a large urban public hospital to test an umbilical cord blood sample for the presence of non-medically administered drugs of abuse and alcohol and to be interviewed for the study. Samples were tested for the presence of a cocaine metabolite (benzoylecgonine-BZE) by radioimmunoassay. The presence of other substances of abuse (alcohol, methamphetamine, opiates) resulted in exclusion from the sample of 143 subjects. Thus, in this cohort analysis, drug-free controls (N = 469) were compared to those positive for cocaine only (N = 108). Peripartum exposure to cocaine only, and no other substances of abuse, was associated with an increased frequency of abruptio placentae (1.9% vs 0% for control, P < 0.004), thick meconium stained amniotic fluid (3.9% vs 0.7% for controls, P < 0.006), premature rupture of membranes (P < 0.02), genitourinary anomalies (OR = 3.6, P < 0.05), abdominal wall defects (OR = 4.4, P < 0.01) and increased frequency of low birth weight (OR = 2.0, P < 0.02). These are important findings because previous studies have been complicated by the confounding effects of other substances of abuse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)598-602
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Human Biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Anthropology
  • Genetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Peripartum cocaine use and adverse pregnancy outcome'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this