Maternal, fetal and neonatal consequences associated with the use of crack cocaine during the gestational period: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: Crack cocaine consumption is one of the main public health challenges with a growing number of children intoxicated by crack cocaine during the gestational period. The primary goal is to evaluate the accumulating findings and to provide an updated perspective on this field of research. METHODS: Meta-analyses were performed using the random effects model, odds ratio (OR) for categorical variables and mean difference for continuous variables. Statistical heterogeneity was assessed using the I-squared statistic and risk of bias was assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa Quality Assessment Scale. Ten studies met eligibility criteria and were used for data extraction. RESULTS: The crack cocaine use during pregnancy was associated with significantly higher odds of preterm delivery [odds ratio (OR), 2.22; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.59-3.10], placental displacement (OR, 2.03; 95% CI 1.66-2.48), reduced head circumference (-1.65cm; 95% CI -3.12 to -0.19), small for gestational age (SGA) (OR, 4.00; 95% CI 1.74-9.18) and low birth weight (LBW) (OR, 2.80; 95% CI 2.39-3.27). CONCLUSION: This analysis provides clear evidence that crack cocaine contributes to adverse perinatal outcomes. The exposure of maternal or prenatal crack cocaine is pointedly linked to LBW, preterm delivery, placental displacement and smaller head circumference.

published proceedings

  • Arch Gynecol Obstet

altmetric score

  • 1

author list (cited authors)

  • Dos Santos, J. F., de Melo Bastos Cavalcante, C., Barbosa, F. T., Gita, D., Duzzioni, M., Tilelli, C. Q., Shetty, A. K., & de Castro, O. W.

citation count

  • 26

complete list of authors

  • Dos Santos, Jucilene Freitas||de Melo Bastos Cavalcante, Cibelle||Barbosa, Fabiano Timbó||Gitaí, Daniel Leite Góes||Duzzioni, Marcelo||Tilelli, Cristiane Queixa||Shetty, Ashok K||de Castro, Olagide Wagner

publication date

  • January 2018