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Impact of corticosteroid exposure on preterm labor in neonates eventually born at term.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the impact of antenatal corticosteroid therapy (ACS) on birth outcomes in term infants exposed during pregnancy.

STUDY DESIGN: Exposed newborns were compared with non-exposed controls in a 1 to 2 design. Multivariate analysis was used to assess the effect of ACS exposure on neonatal outcomes.

RESULT: 408 newborns were included (136 exposed to ACS, 272 non-exposed). Mean ± SD head circumference (HC) was 33.7 ± 1.4 vs 34.3 ± 1.6 cm, p = 0.001 in exposed vs controls; birth weight was 3.1 ± 0.4 vs 3.3 ± 0.4 kg, p = 0.0001; and birth height was 47.9 ± 2.1 vs. 49.1 ± 2.0 cm, p < 0.0001. Hypocalcemia (4.4 vs 0.7%, p = 0.019) and feeding difficulties (5.1 vs 1.5%, p = 0.047) were significantly more common in exposed newborns. Multivariate analysis for HC showed a significant independent association with ACS exposure (β = -0.5, p = 0.009).

CONCLUSION: Term newborns exposed to ACS have lower birth HC and higher risk of neonatal complications.

CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT05640596.

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