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Behnke M, Eyler FD, Garvan CW, Wobie K. 
“The search for congenital malformations in newborns with fetal cocaine exposure”. 
Pediatrics. 2001 May;107(5):E74.
CONTEXT: The association between prenatal cocaine exposure and congenital anomalies is not definitive.
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether prenatal cocaine exposure results in an increased number or identifiable pattern of abnormalities.

DESIGN: A prospective, longitudinal cohort enrolled between 1991 and 1993.

SETTING: Rural public health population delivering at a regional tertiary medical center.

PATIENTS: Two hundred seventy-two offspring of 154 prenatally identified crack/cocaine users and 154 nonusing controls were matched on race, parity, location of prenatal care (that related to level of pregnancy risk), and socioeconomic status. Drug use was determined through repeated in-depth histories and urine screens. Infants not examined within 7 days of birth were excluded. OUTCOME MEASURES: Assessments were made by experienced examiners masked to maternal drug history. Included were 16 anthropometric measurements and a checklist of 180 physical features defined and agreed upon in advance.

RESULTS: There were no differences on major risk variables between the included and excluded infants. There were significantly more premature infants in the cocaine-exposed group. Cocaine-exposed infants were significantly smaller in birth weight, length, and head circumference but did not differ on remaining anthropometric measurements. There was no difference in type or number of abnormalities identified between the exposed and nonexposed groups. There was no relationship between amount or timing of exposure and any of the outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: This prospective, large-scale, blinded, systematic evaluation for congenital anomalies in prenatally cocaine-exposed children did not identify an increased number or consistent pattern of abnormalities.
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