Children exposed to opioids in the womb had a two times higher rate of developing asthma, according to new research.

The results underscore the necessity of maintaining close follow up care in this vulnerable patient population.

In the past 10 years, prenatal opioid exposure (POE) has seen a dramatic increase among the US newborn population. As many as 100 infants are born daily with Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome (NOWS). Therefore, there lies a great need in investigating long-term outcomes in such patients.

Isabella Cervantes, BA, of the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, and colleagues designed a retrospective cohort study to determine the association between POE and the likelihood of an altered immune response by 8 years of age. Immune response was measured by the development of asthma.

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