THURSDAY, Oct. 26, 2023 (HealthDay News) — In utero exposure to corticosteroids and β2-adrenergic agonists appears to not be associated with most offspring neurodevelopmental outcomes, according to a study published online Oct. 24 in JAMA Network Open.
Abir Nagata, Ph.D., from Osaka University in Japan, and colleagues examined the association between timing of in utero exposure to corticosteroids and beta (β)2-adrenergic agonists and offspring neurodevelopmental milestones during the first three years of life using data from the ongoing Japan Environment and Children’s Study. A total of 91,460 mother-offspring pairs were analyzed. Overall, 0.4, 1.0, and 0.6 percent of offspring were exposed to corticosteroids in early, mid-to-late, and both stages of pregnancy, respectively, and 0.2, 0.4, and 0.2 percent were exposed to β2-adrenergic agonists.
The researchers observed no association for corticosteroid exposure during early, mid-to-late, and both stages of pregnancy with any of the five neurodevelopmental milestones. Furthermore, no association was seen for β2-adrenergic agonist exposure during early pregnancy with any of the milestones. β2-adrenergic agonist exposure during mid-to-late pregnancy was associated with delayed personal-social skills (adjusted odds ratio, 1.48).
“Despite the study’s limitations and its low power, these findings suggest that corticosteroids and β2-adrenergic agonists could be considered safe for use by pregnant individuals with asthma and safe for the neurodevelopment of their offspring,” the authors write. “Additionally, the findings may inform choices regarding the management of maternal asthma during pregnancy.”
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