Navigation Links
BUSPH study observes link between decongestant use in pregnant women and lower risk of preterm birth

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.


Contact: Elana Zak
Boston University Medical Center

Related biology news :

1. BUSPH study links rheumatoid arthritis to vitamin D deficiency
2. Study points to key genetic driver of severe allergic asthma
3. Neuronal diversity makes a difference, says Carnegie Mellon study
4. Jefferson receives $3 million NIH grant to study molecular and genetic mechanisms in platelets
5. Texas A&M research produces tools to study stallions subfertility
6. UCI-Scripps study links cellular motors to memory
7. Coral off Puerto Ricos coast ideal case study for Gulf oil spills impact
8. Microneedle, quantum dot study opens door to new clinical cancer tools
9. New study shows how giant tortoises, alligators thrived in High Arctic 50 million years ago
10. USDA-backed study finds federal school lunches linked to childhood obesity
11. New study sheds light on painkilling system in brain
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/29/2015)... , Oct. 29, 2015 Daon, a global ... it has released a new version of its ... North America have already installed ... also includes a FIDO UAF certified server component ... preparing to activate FIDO features. These customers include some ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... BOSTON , Oct. 29, 2015  Connected health ... phenomena driving the explosion of technology-enabled health and wellness, ... his new book, The Internet of Healthy ... apps, sensors or smartphones even existed, Dr. Kvedar, vice ... model of health care delivery, moving care from the ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... 29, 2015 Today, LifeBEAM , ... with 2XU, a global leader in technical performance ... hat with advanced bio-sensing technology. The hat will ... monitor key biometrics to improve overall training performance. ... two companies will bring together the most advanced technology, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), ... MultiGP, also known as Multirotor Grand Prix, to represent the First–Person View (FPV) racing ... AMA members have embraced this type of racing and several new model aviation pilots ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... QUEBEC CITY , Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... (the "Company") announced today that the remaining 11,000 ... Common Share Purchase Warrants (the "Series B Warrants") ... agreement were exercised on November 23, 2015, which ... Common Shares.  After giving effect to the issuance ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Creation Technologies would like ... to Deloitte's 2015 Technology Fast 500 list of the fastest growing companies in ... Class II medical device that speeds up orthodontic tooth movement by as much ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. , Nov. 24, 2015  PDL ... John P. McLaughlin , the company,s president and chief ... Piper Jaffray Healthcare Conference next week in New ... and will occur on Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 9:30 ... and Presentations." Please connect to the website at least 15 ...
Breaking Biology Technology: