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Research Letter
December 16, 2019

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Incidence and Health Care Costs in the United States, 2016

Author Affiliations
  • 1National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Division of Overdose Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia
  • 2National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Division of Congenital and Developmental Disorders, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia
  • 3National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Reproductive Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia
  • 4United States Public Health Service, Commissioned Corps, Rockville, Maryland
JAMA Pediatr. 2020;174(2):200-202. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2019.4791

Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) is a withdrawal syndrome primarily occurring in infants with in utero exposure to opioids. Neonatal abstinence syndrome is an important indicator of the immediate effect of the opioid crisis. Little is known about the physical and developmental health consequences of prenatal opioid exposure.1 Neonatal abstinence syndrome incidence rates have increased from 1.5 to 8.0 per 1000 hospital births in the United States from 2004 to 2014.2 Total hospital costs reached $316 million in 2012 and accounted for 4% of all neonatal intensive care unit hospital days nationwide in 2013.3,4 This study provides new national incidence and cost estimates for NAS in 2016.

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