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July 4, 2001

Prenatal Cocaine Exposure as a Risk Factor for Later Developmental Outcomes

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorJody W.ZylkeMD, Contributing EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2001;286(1):45-47. doi:10.1001/jama.286.1.45

To the Editor: As in 1992 when Mayes et al1 urged against a rush to judgment of the effects of prenatal cocaine exposure, the review by Dr Frank and colleagues2 provided a rational voice in an irrational environment. While we agree with many of the conclusions, the lay community has consistently underestimated the risk of prenatal exposure to cocaine. In our own community, this review has been interpreted to mean that there are no long-term effects of prenatal cocaine exposure. Clearly, the effects on the fetuses, newborns, and infants, including dose-response relations, are evident. Although disregarding these risks was not the intent of this review, it may well be a consequence.

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