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April 17, 2002

Cocaine-Exposed Infants and Developmental Outcomes: "Crack Kids" Revisited

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Pediatrics, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Mass (Drs Zuckerman and Frank); and Department of Child Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn (Dr Mayes).

JAMA. 2002;287(15):1990-1991. doi:10.1001/jama.287.15.1990

In this issue of THE JOURNAL, Singer and colleagues1 report the findings from their prospective cohort study assessing the relationship between prenatal cocaine exposure and cognitive and developmental outcomes in 218 cocaine-exposed infants and 197 unexposed infants. After controlling for prenatal exposure to other drugs, gestational age and size at birth, and a number of caregiver characteristics, the authors found that infants who had in utero cocaine exposure scored on average 6 points lower than the comparison group on the Mental Scale of the Bayley Scales of Infant Development2 at 24 months of age. Rates of clinically important developmental delay on the scale were doubled in the cocaine-exposed group compared with the unexposed group (13.7% vs 7.1%, respectively).