Author(s): French NP, Hagan R, Evans SF, Mullan A, Newnham JP
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: This study was undertaken to determine the effects of repeated courses of antenatal corticosteroids on childhood behavior and disabilities, including cognitive delay and cerebral palsy. STUDY DESIGN: Nonrandomized regional cohort of 541 very preterm infants born in Western Australia from singleton pregnancies and alive at 3 years were included in the study. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Physical, cognitive, and psychological assessments up to 6 years. RESULTS: Increasing numbers of antenatal corticosteroid courses were associated with a reduction in the rate of cerebral palsy. Three or more courses were also associated with increased rates of aggressive/destructive, distractible, and hyperkinetic behavior and these effects were present at both ages 3 and 6 years. Measures of internalizing behavior and intelligence quotient were unaffected by antenatal corticosteroid use. CONCLUSION: Repeated antenatal courses of corticosteroids may protect against cerebral palsy but are associated with hyperactivity later in childhood.
This article was published in Am J Obstet Gynecol
and referenced in Journal of Community Medicine & Health Education