- Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) may predict long-term maternal mortality.
Why this matters
- Opioid use among pregnant women has been rising and increases risks for NAS in newborns.
- The peripartum period is an opportunity to improve maternal health.
- Ongoing support of mothers with opioid use disorder may prevent increased risk for maternal mortality.
- Mothers with infants born with NAS had higher mortality rates (11-12 times) compared with controls.
- The majority of deaths were from preventable causes such as intentional and unintentional injuries.
- This difference persisted over time.
- Population-based parallel-cohort study.
- Administrative health data were used to develop parallel cohorts of mother-infant dyads in England and Ontario between 2002 and 2012.
- Dyads with NAS (n=18,543) were compared with controls (n=5,149,237).
- Primary exposure was a live birth of an infant with NAS.
- Main outcome was all deaths among mothers following their delivery date.
- Funding: Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, National Institute for Health Research Policy Research Programme, Administrative Data Research Centre for England, Farr Institute of Health Informatics Research London, Medical Research Council; others.
- Potential linkage errors.
- Misclassification of mothers using opioids whose babies did not develop NAS.