HealthDay News — Neonates born to mothers exposed to β-blockers at the time of delivery have increased risk of neonatal hypoglycemia and bradycardia, according to a study published in online August 30 in Pediatrics.

Brian T. Bateman, MD, from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and colleagues used data from 2,292,116 completed pregnancies linked to live-born infants of Medicaid-enrolled women from 2003 to 2007 to examine the risks of neonatal hypoglycemia and neonatal bradycardia associated with maternal exposure to β-blockers. The authors controlled for potential confounders using propensity score matching.

The researchers identified 10,585 pregnancies that were exposed to β-blockers at the time of delivery. The risk of neonatal hypoglycemia was 4.3 and 1.2% in the β-blocker-exposed and unexposed neonates, respectively. Risk remained elevated for neonatal hypoglycemia and bradycardia among exposed versus unexposed pregnancies after adjustment for confounders (adjusted odds ratios, 1.68 and 1.29, respectively).

“Our findings suggest that neonates born to mothers exposed to β-blockers in late pregnancy, including labetalol, are at elevated risk for neonatal hypoglycemia and bradycardia,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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