Analgesia for Labor: Obstetric Outcome and Economic Issues
Neuraxial Labor Analgesia for Vaginal Delivery and Its Effects on Childhood Learning Disabilities
Flick RP, Lee KM, Hofer RE, et al (Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN) Anesth Analg 112:1424-1431, 2011§
In prior work, children born to mothers who received neuraxial anesthesia for cesarean delivery had a lower incidence of subsequent learning disabilities compared with vaginal delivery. The authors speculated that neuraxial anesthesia may reduce stress responses to delivery, which could affect subsequent neurodevelopmental outcomes. To further explore this possibility, we examined the association between the use of neuraxial labor analgesia and development of childhood learning disabilities in a population-based birth cohort of children delivered vaginally.
The educational and medical records of all children born to mothers residing in the area of 5 townships of Olmsted County, Minnesota from 1976 to 1982 and remaining in the community at age 5 years were reviewed to identify those with learning disabilities. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to compare the incidence of learning disabilities between children delivered vaginally with and without neuraxial labor analgesia, including analyses adjusted for factors of either potential clinical relevance or that differed between the 2 groups in univariate analysis.