A number of epidemiological indices suggest that the use of cocaine in Italy is increasing, thus explaining the importance of scientific interest in this field. There is considerable disparity between the scientific papers published in the literature concerning the damaging effects on fetus and mother linked to the use of cocaine during pregnancy. The main problem consists of the method used to identify those patients using cocaine. These methods are burdened by a high level of false negatives: subjects who often use a variety of active pharmacological substances are identified and the methods are not always suitable for classifying subjects according to useful clinical parameters. This is reflected in the poor quality of data concerning the epidemiology and clinical aspects of cocaine abuse during pregnancy. A careful selection of the best scientific papers published in the literature shows that the effects on the maternal organism are slight, whereas those on the fetus are more severe. Compared to controls, the use of cocaine is associated with a high percentage of cardiac malformations, preterm delivery, low birth weight and minor anomalies of the nervous system. Results relating to sudden neonatal death are discordant. This paper shows that the use of cocaine is often underestimated both in epidemiological terms and from the fetal point of view. This behaviour is linked to the belief that the effects of cocaine are benign.
|Numero di pagine||10|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Pubblicato - 1995|