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  1. Jennings, Arin BS
  2. John, Collin MD/MPH
  3. Lilly, Christa PhD
  4. Hamilton, Candice MPH
  5. Umer, Amna PhD


Background: Previous research indicated that diabetes during pregnancy results in a more permeable placenta. Based on this data, we hypothesized that women with maternal diabetes were more likely to have infants who developed neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS).


Purpose: The purpose of the study was to examine the association between maternal diabetes and NAS in a cohort of women reporting substance use during pregnancy.


Methods: This study used data from a population-based cohort of all newborns born in 2017 and 2018 (N = 36,974) in the state of West Virginia and restricted the analysis to those infants with intrauterine substance exposure (14%, n = 5188). Multiple logistic regression was performed to analyze the adjusted relationship between maternal diabetes and NAS while controlling for maternal and infant covariates.


Results: Just over 28% of women with diabetes had an infant who developed NAS, whereas 34.8% of women without diabetes had an infant who developed NAS. The adjusted odds ratio of infants developing NAS born to women with diabetes was 0.70 (95% confidence interval: 0.51, 0.94) compared with those born to mothers without diabetes after controlling for covariates. Contrary to our hypothesis, the study suggests that maternal diabetes during pregnancy is associated with a decreased risk of an infant developing NAS.


Implications for Practice: Future research generating from this hypothesis may lead to potential implications for practice for infants born to mothers with substance use during pregnancy and diabetes.


Implications for Research: More research should be conducted to investigate the relationship between glucose metabolism and NAS.