Assessment of exposure to drugs of abuse during pregnancy by hair analysis in a Mediterranean island

Authors

  • Bibiana Friguls,

    Corresponding author
    1. Unitat de Recerca Infància i Entorn (URIE), Institut Municipal d'Investigació Mèdica (IMIM), Parc de Salut Mar, Barcelona, Spain,
    2. Paediatric Department, Parc de Salut Mar, Barcelona, Spain,
    3. Department de Pediatria, Ginecologia i Obstetricia i Medicina Preventiva de la Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain,
    4. Red SAMID (Red de Salud Materno-Infantil y del Desarrollo), RETIC Instituto Carlos III, Madrid, Spain,
    • Bibiana Friguls, Servei de Pediatra, Hospital del Mar, Parc de Salut Mar, Passeig Marítim, 25-28, 08003 Barcelona, Spain. E-mail: bfriguls@imim.es

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  • Xavier Joya,

    1. Unitat de Recerca Infància i Entorn (URIE), Institut Municipal d'Investigació Mèdica (IMIM), Parc de Salut Mar, Barcelona, Spain,
    2. Red SAMID (Red de Salud Materno-Infantil y del Desarrollo), RETIC Instituto Carlos III, Madrid, Spain,
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  • Joan Garcia-Serra,

    1. Department de Pediatria, Ginecologia i Obstetricia i Medicina Preventiva de la Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain,
    2. Paediatric Service, Hospital Can Misses, Ibiza, Spain,
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  • Mario Gómez-Culebras,

    1. Departamento de Cirugía Pediátrica, Universidad de Tenerife, Tenerife, Spain
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  • Simona Pichini,

    1. Department of Therapeutic Research and Medicines Evaluation, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy
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  • Susana Martinez,

    1. Unitat de Recerca Infància i Entorn (URIE), Institut Municipal d'Investigació Mèdica (IMIM), Parc de Salut Mar, Barcelona, Spain,
    2. Department de Pediatria, Ginecologia i Obstetricia i Medicina Preventiva de la Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain,
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  • Oriol Vall,

    1. Unitat de Recerca Infància i Entorn (URIE), Institut Municipal d'Investigació Mèdica (IMIM), Parc de Salut Mar, Barcelona, Spain,
    2. Paediatric Department, Parc de Salut Mar, Barcelona, Spain,
    3. Department de Pediatria, Ginecologia i Obstetricia i Medicina Preventiva de la Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain,
    4. Red SAMID (Red de Salud Materno-Infantil y del Desarrollo), RETIC Instituto Carlos III, Madrid, Spain,
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  • Oscar Garcia-Algar

    1. Unitat de Recerca Infància i Entorn (URIE), Institut Municipal d'Investigació Mèdica (IMIM), Parc de Salut Mar, Barcelona, Spain,
    2. Paediatric Department, Parc de Salut Mar, Barcelona, Spain,
    3. Department de Pediatria, Ginecologia i Obstetricia i Medicina Preventiva de la Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain,
    4. Red SAMID (Red de Salud Materno-Infantil y del Desarrollo), RETIC Instituto Carlos III, Madrid, Spain,
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ABSTRACT

Aims  This study aims to estimate the prevalence of drug use by pregnant women living in Ibiza, using structured interviews and biomarkers in maternal hair. In addition, the potentially detrimental effects of maternal drug abuse on their newborns were investigated. Ibiza has a large international night-life resort associated with clubs, music and use of recreational drugs.

Design, setting and participants  Hair samples were collected prospectively from January to March 2010 from a cohort of consecutive mothers after giving birth in the Hospital Can Misses in Ibiza.

Measurements  Opiates, cocaine, cannabis, methadone, amphetamines, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and their metabolites were detected in a 3-cm-long proximal segment of maternal hair corresponding to the last trimester of pregnancy by gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (n = 107). Data on socio-demographic characteristics and on tobacco, alcohol, drugs of prescription and drugs of abuse consumption during pregnancy were collected using a structured questionnaire.

Findings  Hair analysis showed an overall 16% positivity for drugs of abuse in the third trimester of pregnancy, with a specific prevalence of cannabis, cocaine, MDMA and opiates use of 10.3, 6.4, 0.9 and 0%, respectively. In the questionnaires, only 1.9% of mothers declared using drugs of abuse during pregnancy. Gestational drug of abuse consumption was associated with active tobacco smoking, a higher number of smoked cigarettes and the mother being Spanish.

Conclusions  Illicit drug use is substantially under-reported among pregnant women living in Ibiza, particularly among Spanish nationals. Voluntary, routine objective biological toxicology screening should be considered as part of routine examinations in antenatal clinics on this Mediterranean island.

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