Prenatal Opioids Increase Risk of Multiple Adverse Health Effects Interview with:
Erin Kelty PhD
Research Fellow
NHMRC Emerging Leader
School of Population & Global Health What is the background for this study?

Response: Recent research from Dr Lauren Jantzie at John Hopkins found that in mice prenatal opioid exposure altered the immune system.
Our research aimed to see if the same was true in children who had been exposed to opioids in utero. What are the main findings?

Response: We found that prenatal opioid exposure was associated with an increased risk of hospitalisation for infections, eczema/dermatitis, and asthma, but not allergies/anaphylaxis or autoimmune diseases. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Prenatal opioid exposure can have long-term effects of health. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Future research should examine outcomes by individual opioid medications, to try and determine if some medications are safer than others in term of the impact on the immune system.

No disclosures.


Kelty E, Rae K, Jantzie LL, Wyrwoll CS, Preen DB. Prenatal Opioid Exposure and Immune-Related Conditions in Children. JAMA Netw Open. 2024;7(1):e2351933. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2023.51933

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Last Updated on January 18, 2024 by