Amphetamine addiction during pregnancy: 14-year follow-up of growth and school performance


M Eriksson, St. Göran's Children's Hospital, S-112 81 Stockholm, Sweden


Sixty-five children born to women who all abused amphetamine during pregnancy have been followed prospectively since their birth in 1976-77. At the age of 14-15 years, information about growth and school achievement was collected from school records. For comparison of school achievements the means of schoolmates were used, and for growth a group of Stockholm children born in the same year. By the age of 14 years only 14 children (22%) had stayed with their biological mothers for the whole period since birth. In the eighth grade, 10 (15%) were one grade lower than indicated by their biological age. The norm for Sweden is less than 5%. The means of the points in mathematics, Swedish language and sports were statistically below those of their classmates. At the age of 10 years the girls were significantly shorter and lighter than their peers born in 1976. At the age of 14 years the boys were statistically taller and heavier than their peers. It can be concluded that maternal amphetamine abuse during pregnancy will influence children at least up to the age of 14–15 years even though many of them have been living in foster homes since a young age.