Prevalence of gestational exposure to cannabis in a Mediterranean city by meconium analysis

Authors

  • Jaime Lozano,

    1. Unitat de Recerca Infància i Entorn (URIE), Paediatric Service, Hospital del Mar, Barcelona, Spain
    2. Departament de Pediatria, Ginecologia i Obstetricia, i Medicina Preventiva, Universitat Autònoma, Barcelona, Spain
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  • Oscar García-Algar,

    1. Unitat de Recerca Infància i Entorn (URIE), Paediatric Service, Hospital del Mar, Barcelona, Spain
    2. Departament de Pediatria, Ginecologia i Obstetricia, i Medicina Preventiva, Universitat Autònoma, Barcelona, Spain
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  • Emilia Marchei,

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

    1. Unitat de Recerca Infància i Entorn (URIE), Paediatric Service, Hospital del Mar, Barcelona, Spain
    2. Departament de Pediatria, Ginecologia i Obstetricia, i Medicina Preventiva, Universitat Autònoma, Barcelona, Spain
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  • Toni Monleon,

    1. Departament of Statistics, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain
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  • Rita Di Giovannandrea,

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

    1. Department of Therapeutic Research and Medicines Evaluation, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome Italy
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  • This study was supported by Dipartimento Nazionale per le politiche antidroga della Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri, Roma (Italy).

Correspondence
Simona Pichini, Department of Therapeutic Research and Medicines Evaluation, Istituto Superiore di Sanitá, V.le Regina Elena 299, 00161, Rome, Italy. Tel: + 39-06-49903682 | Fax: + 39-06-49902016 | Email: simona.pichini@iss.it

Abstract

Aim: To investigate the prevalence of in utero exposure to cannabis in a cohort of 974 mother-infants dyads from Barcelona (Spain).

Methods: A validated gas chromatographic-mass spectrometric assay was used for meconium analysis.

Results: Prenatal exposure to cannabis was detected in 5.3% newborns; however, only 1.7% of the participating mothers disclosed gestational drug use. Ethnicity was not associated with cannabis use, nor were the maternal features or newborns somatometry. A significantly higher percentage of cannabis using mothers had a managerial professional job versus nonusers.

Conclusions: Meconium analysis is especially important to identify neonates who have been exposed to cannabis in utero, which appear normal at birth and therefore may not be recognized. Timely detection of these newborns at risk provides the basis for appropriate treatment and adequate medical and social follow-up.

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