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Women with prenatal opioid use are over 10 times more likely to die during the 10 years after giving birth than women who do not use opioids, a study has found. Most of those deaths are avoidable, the researchers say.
Investigators studied data on more than 4 million mothers in England and almost 1 million in Ontario. Using neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) as a marker for opioid use during pregnancy, they showed that mothers of infants with NAS were between 11 and 12 times more likely to die than other women for as long as 10 years after giving birth. The findings were published online November 26 in PLoS Medicine.