Prenatal low-dose aspirin and neurobehavioral outcomes of children born very preterm

Pediatrics. 2010 Jan;125(1):e29-34. doi: 10.1542/peds.2009-0994. Epub 2009 Dec 21.


Objective: Low-dose aspirin (LDA) given during pregnancy may alter brain development in very preterm infants. We report the short- and long-term outcomes of very preterm infants according to LDA treatment.

Patients and methods: Data were from the Etude Epidemiologique des Petites Ages Gestationnels (EPIPAGE) cohort study, which included all infants born before 33 weeks of gestation in 9 French regions in 1997. This study was restricted to 656 children who were born to 584 women with an obstetric history of placental vascular disease or with chronic hypertension or renal or autoimmune diseases. The main outcome measures were mortality, cerebral lesions, and outcome at 5 years of age, which were measured by a diagnosis of cerebral palsy; behavioral difficulties, which were assessed with the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire; and cognitive impairment, which was measured by the mental processing composite scale of the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children (an IQ-equivalent measure of cognitive ability in 2 dimensions: sequential and simultaneous processing scores).

Results: LDA treatment was administered to 125 of 584 (21%) mothers and was not significantly associated with mortality, cerebral lesions, cerebral palsy, or global cognitive impairment of the children at 5 years of age. The proportion of low simultaneous processing scores (<70) was lower in the group with LDA (7% vs 19% without LDA; P = .04). This association was not significant after adjustment for propensity score, prognostic factors, and social class (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]: 0.59 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.17-2.06]). LDA treatment was associated with a reduction, at the limit of significance, in total behavioral difficulties (aOR: 0.44 [95% CI: 0.19-1.02]) and hyperactivity (aOR: 0.43 [95% CI: 0.17-1.05]).

Conclusions: LDA was not associated with adverse neonatal or long-term outcomes. Moreover, the results suggest that LDA may be associated with a reduction in neurobehavioral difficulties. More research is needed to assess the effects of aspirin alone or combined with other neuroprotective agents.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aspirin / therapeutic use*
  • Cerebral Palsy / prevention & control
  • Child Behavior Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Child Behavior Disorders / prevention & control
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • France
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Infant, Very Low Birth Weight*
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Odds Ratio
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Care / methods
  • Probability
  • Risk Assessment
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Aspirin