Effects of preconceptional paternal drug exposure on birth outcomes: cohort study of 340 000 pregnancies using Norwegian population-based databases

Authors

  • Anders Engeland,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Public Health and Primary Health Care, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
    • Department of Pharmacoepidemiology, Division of Epidemiology, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway
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  • Tone Bjørge,

    1. Department of Public Health and Primary Health Care, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
    2. Medical Birth Registry of Norway, Division of Epidemiology, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Bergen, Norway
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  • Anne Kjersti Daltveit,

    1. Department of Public Health and Primary Health Care, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
    2. Medical Birth Registry of Norway, Division of Epidemiology, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Bergen, Norway
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  • Svetlana Skurtveit,

    1. Department of Pharmacoepidemiology, Division of Epidemiology, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway
    2. Norwegian Centre for Addictive Research, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
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  • Siri Vangen,

    1. Unit Rikshospitalet, National Resource Centre for Women's Health, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway
    2. Department of Chronic Diseases, Division of Epidemiology, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway
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  • Stein Emil Vollset,

    1. Department of Public Health and Primary Health Care, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
    2. Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Bergen, Norway
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  • Kari Furu

    1. Department of Pharmacoepidemiology, Division of Epidemiology, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway
    2. Department of Pharmacy, University of Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway
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Correspondence

Professor Anders Engeland MSc PhD, Department of Pharmacoepidemiology, Division of Epidemiology, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, P.O.Box 4404 Nydalen, N-0403 Oslo, Norway.

Tel.: +47 5320 4042/+47 2107 8213

Fax: +47 2107 8146

E-mail: anders.engeland@isf.uib.no

Abstract

Aims

We aimed to explore associations between drugs dispensed to the father prior to conception and pregnancy outcomes, such as pre-term birth, perinatal mortality, foetal growth retardation and birth defects.

Methods

In this cohort study, two population-based registries, the Medical Birth Registry of Norway and the Norwegian Prescription Database, were linked. The study cohort consisted of 340 000 pregnancies in 2004–10. The association between specific drugs dispensed to the fathers during the last 3 months prior to conception and pregnancy outcomes was explored by estimating odds ratios (ORs) using multivariate logistic regression.

Results

About one quarter (26%) of the fathers were dispensed at least one drug during the last 3 months prior to conception and 1.3% were dispensed at least one drug requiring special attention. Overall, the odds of different adverse pregnancy outcomes were not increased when the father had been dispensed drugs, i.e. the OR and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for any birth defect when the fathers had been dispensed any drug were 0.99 (0.94, 1.0). When the fathers had been dispensed diazepam we found increased risk of perinatal mortality and growth retardation, with OR and 95% CIs of 2.2 (1.2, 3.9) and 1.4 (1.2, 1.6), respectively.

Conclusions

Large studies are necessary to reveal increased risk of rare outcomes as specific birth defects. Our study did not indicate that paternal drug exposure is an important risk factor for adverse pregnancy outcomes.

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