Prenatal exposure to acetaminophen and adolescent assessment of behavior: Discrepancies by age and reporter
Acetaminophen, which is one of the most commonly used medications during pregnancy, has been linked to adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes among offspring during childhood. Less is known about associations with outcomes occurring later in adolescence. Methods: We conducted a follow-up study of children born between 1996 and 2002. Data on illnesses and medications, including acetaminophen, during pregnancy were collected through a standardized interview after delivery. Behavioral assessments were conducted at two subsequent time points, childhood (ages 5–10) and adolescence (ages 11–17). Outcomes examined included internalizing, externalizing, and total behavior problems based on the parent-completed Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), the teacher-completed Teacher Report Form (TRF), and the youth-completed Youth Self Report (YSR, adolescent follow-up only). Adjusted linear regression models were used to calculate mean differences (MD) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) in T-scores comparing those with prenatal acetaminophen exposure to those without. Stabilized inverse probability weights were used to account for attrition. Results: Among the 216 mother-child dyads with completed parent and teacher behavioral assessments at both childhood and adolescence, prenatal acetaminophen exposure was not associated with behavioral problems according to either parent or teacher assessments. Modest increases in externalizing and total behavior problems were observed according to youth report (MD: 1.9). Compared to associations observed during the childhood follow-up, associations at adolescence were attenuated according to parent-report. Conclusion: Reported associations between prenatal acetaminophen exposure and behavioral outcomes were not consistent over time nor between reporters.