Beta-blockers safe in early pregnancy: Study
Use of beta-blockers in the first trimester of pregnancy was not associated with a significant risk for major congenital malformations, according to research published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

“Chronic hypertension is increasingly prevalent in pregnancy, likely because of the higher prevalence of obesity in women of reproductive age and increasing maternal age at the time of pregnancy,” the researchers wrote.

The researchers conducted a cohort study to determine the association between first-trimester exposure to beta-blockers and the risk for major congenital malformations, including cardiac malformations, cleft lip or palate, and central nervous system malformations.

The researchers examined the health records for 3.6 million pregnancies from the U.S. Medicaid database (U.S. cohort) and the health registries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden (Nordic cohort) for first-trimester exposure to beta-blockers and major congenital malformation outcomes.

They identified 14,900 women with hypertensive pregnancies in the U.S. cohort and 3,577 in the Nordic cohort. In the first trimester, 11.2% of pregnant women with a diagnosis of hypertension from the U.S. cohort were exposed to beta-blockers, as were 19.1% from the Nordic cohort.

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