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 Do microplastics harbour additional risks by colonization with harmful bacteria?
05.04.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde

nachricht Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University

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: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Magnetic nano-imaging on a table top

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Start of work for the world's largest electric truck

20.04.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research

Atoms may hum a tune from grand cosmic symphony

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>