Thursday, December 18, 2008

No benefit from multiple steroid injections in preterm births: study

From CBC News:
Giving many courses of steroids to women at risk of giving birth prematurely increases the risk of having a smaller-sized baby, a Canadian-led international study suggests.

A single course of corticosteroids has been shown to reduce the risk of death in newborns, respiratory distress and bleeding in the brain of infants born to women at risk of giving birth before 37 weeks of pregnancy.

But doctors have moved beyond what the evidence supported and repeated courses of the prenatal drugs — also known as antenatal — has become common, according to a commentary that accompanies the study in the Dec. 20 issue of the medical journal The Lancet.

In the largest trial to date, Dr. Kellie Murphy of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Toronto's Mount Sinai and her colleagues analyzed data on more than 1,800 women at risk of preterm birth who received one course of prenatal corticosteroids 14 to 21 days before the study began. ...more

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