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Research Letter
February 2017

Rural and Urban Differences in Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome and Maternal Opioid Use, 2004 to 2013

Author Affiliations
  • 1Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • 2Department of Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
  • 3Smith Child Health Research Program, Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, Chicago, Illinois
  • 4Department of Pediatrics, Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois
  • 5Departments of Pediatrics and Health Policy, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee
JAMA Pediatr. 2017;171(2):194-196. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.3750

Incidence rates for neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) and maternal opioid use increased nearly 5-fold in the United States between 2000 and 2012.1 Previous studies suggest the incidence of NAS may be increasing rapidly in some rural states,2 in parallel with rising rural rates of other opioid use–related conditions including hepatitis C and overdose deaths.3,4 To our knowledge, no study has examined national trends in NAS and maternal opioid use among rural patients compared with their urban counterparts.

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