December 22, 2009

Study Suggests Baby Aspirin Not Harmful To Unborn Infants

A new French study suggests that baby aspirin taken for high-risk pregnancy complications does not appear to harm brain development among very premature children assessed when 5 years old, but may even have some benefit, Reuters reported.

Dr. Stephane Marret from Rouen University Hospital said it is necessary to confirm their data in other studies.

He warned that physicians and pregnant women must always appreciate the potential impact on the developing baby of medications given to mothers during pregnancy.

Pregnant women at high risk for certain complications are sometimes prescribed baby aspirin.

The researchers in the latest study assessed the outcomes of 656 infants born prior to 33 weeks of pregnancy to 584 women with pregnancy-related complications, such as high blood pressure, or kidney or immune problems.

Marret and colleagues noted in the journal Pediatrics that a total of 125 of these women took low-dose (baby) aspirin for about 12 to 13 weeks while pregnant.

Five years later, Marret's team found no significant association with any infant or child outcome measures and use of low-dose aspirin during pregnancy.

In fact, the rates of stillbirth, neonatal death, brain bleeding, and brain injury were similar in baby aspirin-exposed and non-exposed groups involved in the study.

The team also noted no neurological impairments associated with low-dose aspirin exposure among the 341 children available for physical, neurological, and psychological examination at 5 years of age.

The researchers actually observed a trend toward lesser rates of behavioral impairment among the children exposed to low-dose aspirin -"“ a mere 12 and 7 percent of this group had hyperactive and conduct problems, compared with 23 and 14 percent of those not exposed to aspirin.

They also recorded lower overall rates of emotional and peer problems among children exposed to baby aspirin in utero.

However, Marret and colleagues concluded that the findings warrant further clinical investigation, particularly in light of a potential neurological benefit among children exposed to low-dose aspirin during pregnancy.


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