Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

BUSPH Study Observes Link Between Decongestant Use in Pregnant Women and Lower Risk of Preterm Birth

31.08.2010
A new study led by Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) epidemiologists has found that women who took over-the-counter decongestants during their pregnancies are less likely to give birth prematurely.

Preterm birth -- deliveries at less than 37 weeks' gestation­ -- is the leading cause of infant morbidity and mortality in developed countries, but its causes remain largely unknown, said Rohini Hernandez, the study's lead author and a doctoral candidate in epidemiology at BUSPH. In the United States, the rate of preterm delivery has increased from 9.5 percent in 1981 to 12.3 percent in 2008.

"Maybe this can provide some clues as to how to prevent preterm delivery," Hernandez said. "The more we can learn about what could potentially cause preterm birth would help our understanding in how to stop it."

The study, published online ahead of print in the journal Birth Defects Research Part A: Clinical and Molecular Teratology, found that women who took decongestants in their second or third trimesters had a roughly 58 percent reduced risk of preterm delivery compared to women who didn't use decongestants during their pregnancy. (The finding was observed only for women without preeclampsia.) The authors cautioned, however, that the findings do not necessarily imply a cause and effect relationship.

Decongestants are one of the most frequently used over-the-counter medications by pregnant women. Many, however, choose to not take any medications during their pregnancy to prevent potential harm to the developing fetus, Hernandez said.

"Medication use is a major concern for pregnant women and generally, when medications are found to have effects on the fetus, they're usually found to have adverse effects," Hernandez said. "This was surprising in that a potentially beneficial effect was found.

The researchers analyzed data from 3,271 live-born births by Massachusetts women, obtained between January 1998 and September 2008 as part of the longstanding Birth Defects Study, conducted by Boston University's Slone Epidemiology Center.

Approximately 6 percent of the study population delivered preterm, the authors wrote. Of that, 4.2 percent took decongestants while 6.7 percent did not. The women who took decongestants tended to be older, white, married, highly educated and have higher incomes.

The authors' findings supporting those from a 2006 Swedish study that found a link between prescription decongestant use and preterm delivery. Yet Hernandez said more research is needed to see if there is an actual cause and effect relationship between decongestant use and preterm birth and if so, what element in the decongestant is producing this outcome.

Co-authors on the study include Allen Mitchell, MD, professor of epidemiology and director of the Slone Epidemiology Center, and Martha Werler, DSc, MPH, professor of epidemiology.

Submitted by Elana Zak
ezak@bu.edu

Elana Zak | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.bu.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

nachricht Disarray in the brain
18.12.2017 | Universität zu Lübeck

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Optical Nanoscope Allows Imaging of Quantum Dots

Physicists have developed a technique based on optical microscopy that can be used to create images of atoms on the nanoscale. In particular, the new method allows the imaging of quantum dots in a semiconductor chip. Together with colleagues from the University of Bochum, scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute reported the findings in the journal Nature Photonics.

Microscopes allow us to see structures that are otherwise invisible to the human eye. However, conventional optical microscopes cannot be used to image...

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rutgers scientists discover 'Legos of life'

23.01.2018 | Life Sciences

Seabed mining could destroy ecosystems

23.01.2018 | Earth Sciences

Transportable laser

23.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>