(HealthDay News) — Newborns with neonatal abstinence syndrome are more likely to be readmitted to the hospital than those without the condition, according to research published in the Oct. 1 issue of Hospital Pediatrics.

For this study, the researchers reviewed information from more than 750,000 births in New York state between 2006 and 2009. More than 1,600 infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome were identified.

The researchers found that these infants were nearly 2.5 times more likely to be readmitted to the hospital within one month after birth than full-term infants born without complications. The readmission risk was similar to late preterm infants, and longer length of birth hospitalization in days was associated with reduced odds of being readmitted within 30 days of birth hospitalization (odds ratio, 0.94).

“The recent rise of neonatal abstinence syndrome led to efforts in many hospital systems to improve hospital care being delivered to infants with the syndrome,” lead investigator Stephen Patrick, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of pediatrics and health policy at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tenn., said in a university news release. “Our findings suggest that these improvements need to extend beyond the initial birth hospitalization to ensure a safe discharge home.”

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