Prenatal amphetamine exposure and birth outcomes: a systematic review and metaanalysis

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2011 Sep;205(3):219.e1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2011.04.016. Epub 2011 Apr 16.


Objective: The aim of this study was to systematically review the relationship between amphetamine exposure in pregnancy and birth outcomes.

Study design: Electronic databases were searched to identify relevant studies. Data from included studies were extracted by 2 reviewers. Summary odds ratio (OR) and confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using the random effects model.

Results: Ten studies were included. Significant increases in unadjusted risks of preterm birth (OR, 4.11; 95% CI, 3.05-5.55), low birthweight (OR, 3.97; 95% CI, 2.45-6.43), and small for gestational age (OR, 5.79; 95% CI, 1.39-24.06) were identified among women exposed to amphetamines in pregnancy. The mean birthweight was significantly lower among amphetamine-exposed pregnancies (mean difference, -279 g; 95% CI, -485 to -74 g). Two studies provided adjusted estimates on different outcomes, and their results were consistent with the findings from the unadjusted data.

Conclusion: Amphetamine exposure in pregnancy is associated with adverse birth outcomes and should be identified by physicians providing antenatal care.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amphetamine*
  • Amphetamine-Related Disorders / complications*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Small for Gestational Age
  • Maternal-Fetal Exchange*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome*


  • Amphetamine