Recent studies carried out by researchers from Vanderbilt University and Johns Hopkins University have examined characteristics linked with the heightened risk NAS.
The researchers found that boys are more likely to receive a diagnosis of NAS and need treatment compared to girls. The researchers suggest this may be because males may be more sensitive to the methadone and buprenorphine used to treat their mothers' opioid use disorder (OUD).
Their analysis also found that maternal polysubstance use and high doses of buprenorphine were also linked with greater infant NAS severity.
These findings are incredibly important when designing treatment options for women with OUD who become pregnant.
Dr Jansson, the lead researcher, notes “one size does not fit all” and recommends treatment should be sensitively tailored, delivered in comprehensive treatment settings and include an appropriate mixture of medication and psychosocial support.