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Obstetric Synthetic Oxytocin Use and Subsequent Hyperactivity/Inattention Problems in Danish Children

Stokholm, L.; Juhl, M.; Lønfeldt, N.N.; Mikkelsen, S.H.; Obel, C.; Strandberg-Larsen, K.

Obstetric Anesthesia Digest: June 2019 - Volume 39 - Issue 2 - p 74
doi: 10.1097/
Epidemiologic Reports Surveys

(Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2018;97:880–889)

Synthetic oxytocin is commonly used to induce or augment labor. One report found that oxytocin augmentation of spontaneous labor occurred in almost 50% of deliveries in the United States. However, the widespread use of synthetic oxytocin for labor augmentation may be associated with adverse outcomes. For instance, uterine hyperstimulation and low Apgar scores have previously been reported. Oxytocin does cross the placenta and in a study of pregnant rats it was found to have a detrimental effect on central nervous system development of the offspring. Previous studies examining any potential effects of oxytocin use on attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder have had varying results. The objective of this population-based study was to examine the association between synthetic oxytocin use during labor and hyperactivity/inattention problems in the children.

Department of Public Health, Section of Epidemiology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

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