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Aspirin during pregnancy not harmful for infants

Low-dose aspirin taken for high-risk pregnancy complications does not harm brain development in very premature children, according to a French study, which also hints that it may actually be beneficial.

Aspirin during pregnancy not harmful for infants

Low-dose aspirin taken for high-risk pregnancy complications does not harm brain development in very premature children, according to a French study, which also hints that it may actually be beneficial.

Doctors sometimes recommend low-dose aspirin to pregnant women at high risk for certain pregnancy-related complications. To assess the outcomes of low-dose aspirin on the health of the baby, researchers studied 656 infants born prior to 33 weeks of pregnancy to 584 women with pregnancy-related complications, such as high blood pressure, or kidney or immune problems. A total of 125 of these women took low-dose aspirin for about 12 to 13 weeks while pregnant.

In outcome assessments conducted 5 years later, no significant impact of low-dose aspirin during pregnancy was found on infant's health. Among the infants in the study, rates of stillbirth, neonatal death, brain bleeding, and brain injury were similar in those exposed to low-dose aspirin and the non-exposed group. After allowing for other associated social and medical factors, the researchers likewise noted no harmful neurological effects associated with low-dose aspirin exposure among the 341 children available for physical, neurological, and psychological examination at the age of 5 years.

The study also saw a trend toward lesser rates of behavioral impairment among the children exposed to low-dose aspirin. Just 12 and 7 percent of this group had hyperactive and conduct problems, respectively, compared with 23 and 14 percent of those not exposed. The researchers also noted lower overall rates of emotional and peer problems among children exposed to low-dose aspirin in the womb.

These findings warrant further clinical investigation, particularly in light of a potential neurological benefit among children exposed to low-dose aspirin during pregnancy.
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