Associations Between Maternal Antenatal Corticosteroid Treatment and Mental and Behavioral Disorders in Children

Finnish retrospective cohort study (670,097 singleton children) found that corticosteroid treatment–exposed children had a higher rate of mental and behavioural disorder vs those non-exposed (12.01% vs 6.45%, HR 1.33, 95% CI 1.26-1.41).

SPS commentary:

A related commentary highlights that antenatal corticosteroids, when administered to a pregnant woman before delivery of a very premature infant, accelerate foetal lung maturation and prevent neonatal mortality, respiratory distress syndrome, and brain injury, and that this is advocated in many guidelines. It states that this study provides new insight into potential adverse effects of antenatal corticosteroid exposure, particularly in infants who are ultimately born full term. Although benefits of this therapy outweigh risks in the most vulnerable infants, this may not be true for all infants. Recommendations to administer this therapy to broader populations of pregnant women may need to be re-examined until sufficient safety data, particularly among more mature infants, are available.


Journal of the American Medical Association

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