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Benzodiazepines appear to pose miscarriage risk

Written by | 3 Jan 2024 | Obstetrics & Gynaecology

Researchers from a Taiwanese study report that an increase in the risk of miscarriage is associated with benzodiazepine use during pregnancy, after adjustments for cofounders.

The findings appeared on Dec. 27, 2023 in JAMA Psychiatry.

“These findings underscore the necessity for health care professionals to meticulously balance the risk-benefit ratio when considering the use of benzodiazepines to treat psychiatric and sleep disorders during pregnancy, the authors said.

The investigators used data from Taiwan’s National Birth Certificate Application database and the National Health Insurance database.

Pregnancies resulting in miscarriage between 2004 and 2018 were included in the study and were 1:1 matched with control pregnancies.

This study included analysis of data of 3,067,122 pregnancies among 1,957,601 women, 134 of which (4.4%) resulted in miscarriage.

Mean age of the subjects was 31 years.

The investigators reported that use of benzodiazepines during pregnancy was associated with a 69% increased risk of miscarriage. The risk varied with each benzodiazepine, but. “an increased risk of miscarriage was associated with each commonly used individual benzodiazepine,” they reported.

The authors concluded, “In this nationwide casetime-control study of approximately 3million pregnancies, we found that benzodiazepine use during pregnancy was associated with an approximately 70% increased risk of miscarriage. Our results were generally consistent across diverse sensitivity analyses that considered exposure assessment periods, exposure and outcome misclassifications, and time-varying factors.”

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