Researchers Find Increased Risk of Birth Defects in Babies After First-Trimester Exposure to Lithium

Researchers Find Increased Risk of Birth Defects in Babies After First-Trimester Exposure to Lithium

Researchers have found an elevated risk of major congenital malformations in fetuses after first-trimester exposure to lithium, in the largest study ever to examine the risk of birth defects in lithium-exposed babies. Nearly one and one-half times as many babies exposed to lithium during the first trimester experienced major malformations compared to the unexposed group (7.4 percent compared with 4.3 percent). In addition, risk for neonatal hospital readmission was nearly doubled in lithium-exposed babies compared to the unexposed group (27.5 percent versus 14.3 percent). However, lithium exposure was not associated with pregnancy complications or other delivery outcomes, such as pre-eclampsia,...

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