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Illicit drug use during pregnancy and its relationship to neonatal outcomes among Hepatitis C positive women in British Columbia Cox, Michelle Byrne


OBJECTIVES: To investigate the relationship between stimulant and/or opiate drug use during pregnancy, and adverse neonatal outcomes in Hepatitis C positive women. METHODS: HCV positive pregnant women in British Columbia who consented to participate in a prospective, cohort study were enrolled in the HCV Vertical Transmission Study. A baseline questionnaire sought information on sociodemographic characteristics, substance use, obstetrical and medical history, and sexual behaviour. Follow-up questionnaires collected details on delivery and neonatal outcomes. The adverse neonatal outcomes of interest, for this analysis, were prematurity, low birth weight, low Apgar score, and admission to a neonatal intensive care unit. Required variables were extracted from the primary study dataset. The secondary analysis included descriptive, univariate, and multivariable statistical techniques to address the above stated objectives. RESULTS: Data from 136 women and their infants were analyzed for this study. Fifty-three (39.0%) of the women gave birth to infants that suffered an adverse neonatal outcome. Approximately half (49.6%) of the cohort used stimulant drugs during their pregnancy, 35.9% used opiates, and 68.4%) smoked cigarettes. Concurrent substance use was very common among these women. Current stimulant use (p

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