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Asthma Drugs in Pregnancy Linked To Three Birth Defects | cialis online

Asthma Drugs in Pregnancy Linked To Three Birth Defects

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A new, 10-state study spanning from 1997 links asthma drugs to three serious birth defects. The study appears in the January 16th online issue of the journal, Pediatrics.

The study authors wrote that babies of women who took asthma drugs when pregnant suffered increased risks for isolated esophageal atresia (closed area of the esophagus), isolated anorectal atresia (closed area of the rectum and/or anus), and omphalocele (out-pouching of the intestines), said The Examiner. The risk was specifically seen in pregnant woman who took asthma medications in the month prior to becoming pregnant or in the first three months of being pregnant.

The study, conducted by Shao Lin, PhD and colleagues from the Center for Environmental Health, New York State Department of Health, Troy, utilized National Birth Defects Prevention Study data, said The Examiner. The ongoing, multi-center, population-based, case-controlled study reviewed birth defect causes, The Examiner explained. Interviews with mothers were conducted and DNA from family members was collected and analyzed. Babies with one or more of the involved birth defects—diaphragmatic hernia, esophageal atresia, small intestinal atresia, anorectal atresia, neural tube defects, omphalocele, or limb deficiencies—and babies without these birth defects (control infant), were study, noted The Examiner.

The review involved 2,853 live births, stillbirths, or elective terminations with delivery dates of October 1, 1997 – December 31, 2005 and with at least one of the study-defined birth defects. The control group consisted of 6,726 life births with no birth defects in the same time frame, with babies randomly chosen from birth hospital data or birth certificates, said The Examiner.

The researchers looked at when conception took place—peri-conceptional time—and use of anti-inflammatory drugs, bronchodilators, or both. Asthma medication exposure was defined as use of these drugs at least once in the month before pregnancy and through the third month, said The Examiner. Women who described their asthma drug intake “as needed” and who were unable to provide an exact time frame for medication use were excluded. Among other findings, the study revealed:

• A statistically significant association between isolated esophageal atresia and bronchodilator use.
• A statistically significant increased risk for isolated anorectal atresia with anti-inflammatory use.
• A statistically significant increased risk for isolated omphalocele with both bronchodilators and anti-inflammatory medications.
• Increased risks, not considered statistically significant, for esophageal atresia with anti-inflammatory use alone and with bronchodilators and anti-inflammatory use.

According to the study, from 60 – 67 percent of mothers whose babies were diagnosed with esophageal atresia, anorectal atresia, and omphalocele used bronchodilators during the entire pregnancy term. “With the interview information available for analysis, we were unable to distinguish between the effects of asthma and those of asthma medications; however, we did observe that mothers with possible indicators of uncontrolled asthma or severe asthma episodes (e.g., use of multiple bronchodilators) were at higher risk for delivering a child with one of the defects studied than those who used one bronchodilator.”

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