Objective: To examine trends in pregnancy hospitalizations with a diagnosis of amphetamine or cocaine abuse and the prevalence of associated medical complications.
Methods: Data were obtained from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample. Hospitalization ratios per 100 deliveries for amphetamine or cocaine abuse from 1998 to 2004 were tested for linear trends. Amphetamine-abuse hospitalizations were compared with cocaine-abuse hospitalizations and non-substance-abuse hospitalizations. A chi2 analysis was used to compare hospitalization characteristics. Conditional probabilities estimated by logistic regression were used to calculate adjusted prevalence ratios for each medical diagnosis of interest.
Results: From 1998 to 2004, the hospitalization ratio for cocaine abuse decreased 44%, whereas the hospitalization ratio for amphetamine abuse doubled. Pregnancy hospitalizations with a diagnosis of amphetamine abuse were geographically concentrated in the West (82%), and were more likely to be among women younger than 24 years than the cocaine-abuse or non-substance-abuse hospitalizations. Most medical conditions were more prevalent in the amphetamine-abuse group than the non-substance-abuse group. When the substance abuse groups were compared with each other, obstetric diagnoses associated with infant morbidity such as premature delivery and poor fetal growth were more common in the cocaine-abuse group, whereas vasoconstrictive effects such as cardiovascular disorders and hypertension complicating pregnancy were more common in the amphetamine-abuse group.
Conclusion: As pregnancy hospitalizations with a diagnosis of amphetamine abuse continue to increase, clinicians should familiarize themselves with the adverse consequences of amphetamine abuse during pregnancy and evidence-based guidelines to deal with this high-risk population.
Level of evidence: III.