Three studies so far have investigated the effect of prenatal non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) exposure on birth weight and gestational age. The aim in this study was to evaluate the association of prenatal ibuprofen with birth weight and gestational age at birth, using a sibling design in an attempt to adjust for the possibility of familial confounding.
Using data from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa) and the Medical Birth Registry of Norway (MBRN), we identified 28 597 siblings, of whom 1080 were prenatally exposed to ibuprofen and 26 824 were not exposed to any NSAID. Random and fixed effects models with propensity score adjustment were used to evaluate the effects of ibuprofen exposure on birth weight and gestational age.
Ibuprofen exposure during the first trimester was associated with a decrease in birth weight of 79 grams (95% confidence interval -133 to -25 grams). In contrast, second and/or third trimester exposure, and duration of exposure had no impact on the effect estimates. We found no association between ibuprofen exposure and gestational age at birth.
Our results suggest that prenatal exposure to ibuprofen during the first trimester is associated with a slight decrease in birth weight. The association does not seem to be attributable to shared genetics and family environment, and could be explained by either exposure to ibuprofen, or to non-shared confounding between pregnancies.
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