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YoungMoms Study: Neonatal Outcomes and Maternal Characteristics Associated with Prenatal Use of Cannabis and/or Tobacco

Hwang, Mindy S (2023) YoungMoms Study: Neonatal Outcomes and Maternal Characteristics Associated with Prenatal Use of Cannabis and/or Tobacco. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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Purpose: Cannabis is the most used federally illicit drug during pregnancy with continuously increasing legalization of cannabis, despite the lack of updated information on its potency and risks. Pregnant individuals who use cannabis are also more likely to report smoking cigarettes during pregnancy. Prenatal use of both cannabis and tobacco (co-use) has been associated with adverse pregnancy and neonatal outcomes and is more common in younger mothers, but few studies have identified other associated maternal characteristics. Therefore, this study examines maternal well-being characteristics associated with prenatal use of cannabis and/or tobacco. A secondary aim of this study is to analyze neonatal outcomes associated with prenatal exposure to cannabis and/or tobacco.
Methods: The ongoing YoungMoms Study uses a mixed-methods approach to gather data about pregnant women under the age of 22. Variables of interest were related to participants’ sociodemographic characteristics, physical, mental, and emotional health, as well as social support and education level. Preliminary neonatal outcomes were also analyzed. Statistical tests of association were performed to understand whether there was a relationship between prenatal use of cannabis and/or tobacco and pre-specified outcomes.
Results: Statistical analyses on the current data showed a significant association (p < 0.05) between prenatal use/co-use and several maternal characteristics, including maternal depression, race, and sexual minority status. For neonatal outcomes, this initial cohort was not powered for statistical significance, but showed several lower birth measurements in neonates born to mothers who used tobacco and co-used during pregnancy compared to those who used cannabis only or were tobacco- and cannabis-abstinent. These trends are consistent with the results of several studies that have been published.
Significance: The results of this preliminary analysis show that there are specific maternal characteristics that are associated with prenatal use of cannabis and/or tobacco, which may play a role in adverse pregnancy outcomes. Further analyses are needed to show which of these other maternal characteristics, if any, also play a role in adverse pregnancy outcomes. This study is of significant public health relevance as it helps inform future research focused on adverse pregnancy outcomes and clinical guidelines targeted towards improving maternal and child health.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Hwang, Mindy Smih176@pitt.edumih176
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairDe Genna, Natachadegennanm@upmc.edudegennanUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberRichardson, Galegar@pitt.edugarUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberHurley, Edwardedward.hurley@chp.eduehh9UNSPECIFIED
Centers: Other Centers, Institutes, Offices, or Units > Magee-Women's Research Institute
Date: 5 January 2023
Date Type: Completion
Number of Pages: 53
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Epidemiology
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Date Deposited: 05 Jan 2023 14:32
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2023 14:32


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