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Courses of prenatal corticosteroids not associated with increased death of children

Date:
October 14, 2013
Source:
American Medical Association (AMA)
Summary:
Multiple courses of prenatal corticosteroids, compared with a single course, taken by pregnant women to help prevent preterm birth was associated with no increase or decrease in the risk of death or disability for their children at age 5.

Multiple courses of prenatal corticosteroids, compared with a single course, taken by pregnant women to help prevent preterm birth was associated with no increase or decrease in the risk of death or disability for their children at age 5, according to a study published by JAMA Pediatrics, a JAMA Network publication.

Preterm birth (between 24 and 33 weeks) is a significant health problem and a single course of prenatal (also known as antenatal) corticosteroid therapy is recommended for women at risk of preterm birth. Questions remain about whether additional courses of corticosteroids might be safe and beneficial, the authors write in the study background.

Elizabeth V. Asztalos, M.D., of the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Canada, and colleagues examined the effects of single vs. multiple courses of corticosteroids on the risk of death and neurodevelopmental disability (including cerebral palsy, blindness, deafness or abnormal attention or behavior) in children of mothers who participated in the Multiple Courses of Antenatal Corticosteroids for Preterm Birth Study (MACS). The follow-up study included more than 1,700 mothers and their children.

Study findings indicate no difference in the risk of death or neurodevelopmental disability: 217 of 871 children (24.9 percent) in the multiple-courses group vs. 210 of the 848 children (24.8 percent) in the single-course group.

“Multiple courses, compared with a single course, of antenatal corticosteroid therapy did not increase or decrease the risk of death or disability at 5 years of age. Because of a lack of strong conclusive evidence of short-term or long-term benefits, it remains our opinion that multiple courses should not be recommended in women with ongoing risk of preterm birth,” the study concludes.

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Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Medical Association (AMA). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Elizabeth V. Asztalos. Multiple Courses of Antenatal Corticosteroids for Preterm Birth Study. JAMA Pediatrics, 2013; DOI: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.2764

Cite This Page:

American Medical Association (AMA). "Courses of prenatal corticosteroids not associated with increased death of children." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131014221505.htm>.
American Medical Association (AMA). (2013, October 14). Courses of prenatal corticosteroids not associated with increased death of children. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131014221505.htm
American Medical Association (AMA). "Courses of prenatal corticosteroids not associated with increased death of children." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131014221505.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

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