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Maternal Opioid Use Disorder and Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Among Rural US Residents, 2007–2014

Kozhimannil K, Chantarat T, Ecklund A, Henning-Smith C, Jones C

The Journal of Rural Health  Published online October 29, 2018 doi.org/10.1111/jrh.12329

Purpose: Opioid use disorder (OUD) during pregnancy is associated with poor maternal and infant outcomes, including neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), and both maternal OUD and NAS are increasing disproportionately among rural residents. This study describes the trajectory and characteristics associated with diagnosis of maternal OUD or NAS among rural residents who gave birth at different types of hospitals based on rural/urban location and teaching status.

Methods: Hospital discharge data from the all‐payer National Inpatient Sample were used to describe maternal OUD and infant NAS among rural residents from 2007–2014. Hospitals were categorized as rural, urban teaching, and urban nonteaching. We estimated incidence trends by hospital categories, followed by multivariable logistic regression analyses to identify correlates of OUD and NAS among rural residents, stratified by hospital category.

Findings: Incidence of maternal OUD increased in all hospital categories, with higher rates (8.9/1,000 deliveries) among rural residents who gave birth at urban teaching hospitals compared with those who gave birth at rural hospitals (4.3/1,000 deliveries) or urban nonteaching hospitals (3.6/1,000 deliveries; P < .001). A similar pattern was observed for infant NAS. In multivariable models, the association between maternal OUD and infant NAS diagnoses and hospital category differed by rurality (micropolitan vs. noncore.)

Conclusions: There has been a sustained increase in both maternal OUD and NAS diagnoses among rural residents. Measured sociodemographic and clinical correlates of maternal OUD and NAS differ by hospital category, indicating variability across hospital locations in patient populations and clinical needs for rural residents with these conditions.

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