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Oral corticosteroid use during pregnancy poses no risk of congenital heart defects

26 Nov 2019

Exposure to oral corticosteroids during pregnancy bears no harm to the offspring in terms of the risk of congenital heart defects (CHDs), a study reports.

Using data from a register-based nationwide prevalence study including all live singleton births in Denmark, researchers looked at 1,194,687 mother-and-child pairs to assess the risk of offspring CHDs in relation to the mothers’ use of oral corticosteroids in early pregnancy.

A total of 2,032 individuals (0.17 percent) had a mother who filled a prescription for oral corticosteroids during the 0–8-week period after conception, whereas 1,142,091 (96 percent) had a mother who never used the drugs.

CHDs were documented in 11,094 individuals, yielding a prevalence rate of 93 per 10,000. The crude prevalence was higher in individuals whose mothers filled a prescription for oral corticosteroids in weeks 0–8 after conception than in those whose mothers were never exposed to the drug (32 vs 10,534; prevalence, 157 vs 92 per 10,000; prevalence ratio [PR], 1.72, 95 percent confidence interval [CI] 1.21–2.44).

However, the PR was attenuated following adjustments for maternal age, birth order, calendar year and other covariates associated with corticosteroid exposure and CHD (1.29, 95 percent CI, 0.90–1.84; p=0.16). Propensity score-matched analysis yielded similar results (PR, 1.38, 95 percent CI, 0.95–2.02).

In light of the findings, the researchers pointed out that there is no reason to refrain from corticosteroid treatment during early pregnancy, especially when there is a clear and pertinent indication.

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Most Read Articles
Elaine Soliven, 4 days ago

Switching from efavirenz/emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (EFV/FTC/TDF) to the new bictegravir/ emtricitabine/tenofovir alafenamide (BIC/FTC/TAF) regimen maintained high rates of virological suppression in adults who are living with HIV*, according to a study presented at AIDS 2020.

3 days ago
Among individuals with abdominal obesity, drinking beverages with artificial sweeteners (ASBs) or no sugar (USBs) instead of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) helps lose body weight, a study has found. However, USBs have a more favourable effect on sweet taste preference compared with ASBs.
Stephen Padilla, 5 days ago
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) containing either long-acting injectable cabotegravir (CAB) or tenofovir/emtricitabine (TDF/FTC) is safe and effective for transgender women (TGW) and cisgender men who have sex with men (MSM), but CAB results in a much lower HIV incidence compared to TDF/FTC, results of the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) 083 have shown.
Jairia Dela Cruz, 4 days ago
Monthly prophylaxis with the fixed-dose combination of naphthoquine-azithromycin (NQAZ) is well tolerated and confers significant protection against infection with Plasmodium parasites among individuals residing in malaria-endemic areas in Southeast Asia, as shown in the results of a phase III trial.