By Christine Judge
Edited by David G. Fairchild, MD, MPH, and Lorenzo Di Francesco, MD, FACP, FHM
NEJM Journal Watch
Neonatal abstinence syndrome increased 82% in the U.S. between 2010 and 2017, while maternal opioid-related diagnoses increased 131%, researchers report in JAMA. Previous analyses documented their rise between 2000 and 2014.
Based on 12 million discharge records from community non-rehabilitation hospitals, researchers found that neonatal abstinence syndrome increased from 4.0 to 7.3 per 1000 birth hospitalizations, while maternal opioid-related diagnoses increased from 3.5 to 8.2 per 1000 discharge hospitalizations. Rates were highest among non-Hispanic whites, residents of rural or low-income areas, and Medicaid recipients.
In 2017, rates varied substantially by state, with highest incidence of neonatal abstinence syndrome in West Virginia (54 per 1000) and lowest in Nebraska (1.3). Maternal opioid-related diagnoses were highest in Vermont (47) and again lowest in Nebraska (1.7).