Cannabis use during pregnancy associated with higher risk of complications

Embargoed until: Publicly released:

Exposure to cannabis during pregnancy is linked to an increased risk of a range of complications including stillbirth and preterm birth, according to international researchers. The team collected data on over 9,000 women who had supplied urine samples to hospitals during their pregnancy, and compared pregnancy outcomes based on whether their urine tests showed signs of cannabis exposure. The researchers say those exposed to cannabis in the first trimester were at higher risk of having a premature baby, an undersized baby, and problems with blood pressure during pregnancy. They say this increased risk was exacerbated by continuing to use cannabis beyond the first trimester.

Journal/conference: JAMA

Link to research (DOI): 10.1001/jama.2023.21146

Organisation/s: University of Utah Health, USA

Funder: Funding for this study was
provided by grant R01DA049832 from the National
Institute on Drug Abuse. Funding for the REDCap
platform used for data management was provided
by grant UL1TR002538 from the National Center
for Advancing Translational Sciences. The parent
study was funded by grants from the Eunice
Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health
and Human Development (grant U10 HD063036
was awarded to RTI International; grant U10
HD063072 was awarded to CaseWestern Reserve University; grant U10 HD063047 was awarded to
Columbia University; grant U10 HD063037 was
awarded to Indiana University; grant U10
HD063041 was awarded to the University of
Pittsburgh; grant U10 HD063020 was awarded to
Northwestern University; grant U10 HD063046
was awarded to the University of California, Irvine;
grant U10 HD063048 was awarded to the
University of Pennsylvania; and grant U10
HD063053 was awarded to the University of Utah).

Media release

From: JAMA

Cannabis Exposure and Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes Related to Placental Function

About The Study: In a multicenter observational cohort, a composite adverse pregnancy outcome (small-for-gestational-age birth, medically indicated preterm birth, stillbirth, or hypertensive disorders of pregnancy) was more frequent in pregnant individuals with cannabis exposure ascertained by a urine drug assay compared with unexposed individuals. The risk for an adverse outcome was higher among those who continued to use cannabis beyond the first trimester.

Authors: Torri Metz, M.D., M.S., of University of Utah Health in Salt Lake City, is the corresponding author.


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