Public Release: 12-Dec-2016
Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Increases Among Rural Infants
The JAMA Network Journals
The proportion of infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome - the resulting complications and withdrawal symptoms when infants are no longer exposed to maternal opioids - increased in rural counties in the United States in the last decade, according to a new research letter published online by JAMA Pediatrics.
Nicole L.G. Villapiano, M.D., M.Sc., of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and coauthors used data from the National Inpatient Sample for neonatal births and obstetric deliveries between 2004 and 2013.
The proportion of infants diagnosed with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) who were from rural counties increased from 12.9 percent to 21.2 percent, according to the results.
Additionally, the authors report that from 2004 to 2013 the incidence of NAS increased from 1.2 to 7.5 per 1,000 hospital births among rural infants and from 1.4 to 4.8 per 1,000 hospital births among urban infants.
The frequency of hospital deliveries complicated by maternal opioid use increased during the same period from 1.3 to 8.1 per 1,000 hospital deliveries among rural mothers and from 1.6 to 4.8 per 1,000 hospital deliveries among urban mothers, according to the results.
While the authors acknowledge their analysis may reflect changes in coding practices and increased awareness of opioid-related complications, they suggest that was unlikely to account for the disparities between the rural and urban areas.