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Jornal de Pediatria

Print version ISSN 0021-7557On-line version ISSN 1678-4782


CUNHA, Gabrielle B. da et al. Prevalence of prenatal exposure to cocaine in a sample of newborns from a university teaching hospital. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2001, vol.77, n.5, pp.369-373. ISSN 0021-7557.

OBJECTIVE: to assess the prevalence of prenatal exposure to cocaine in a sample of newborns using two methods: fluorescence polarization immunoassay and interview with the mother. METHODS: this cross-sectional study was carried out in a university teaching hospital. The population included all live births between March 23, 1999 and June 01, 1999 (n=847). Exposure was determined by a benzoylecgonine-positive meconium specimen and/or by a positive interview with the mother. RESULTS: the prevalence of prenatal exposure to cocaine in this sample was 2.4% (16 cases) according to the interviews, and 3.4% (25 cases) according to the meconium analysis. A rate of 4.6% (34 cases) was found when both methods were associated. CONCLUSIONS: we observed that the meconium test was more effective than the maternal interview for the diagnosis of prenatal exposure to cocaine. The meconium analysis enhanced diagnostic chances by 53.4%, compared to 26% in the case of maternal interview.

Keywords : pregnancy; drug abuse, cocaine; epidemiology.

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