Back to Journals » Clinical Epidemiology » Volume 10

Labor augmentation during birth and later cognitive ability in young adulthood

Authors Stokholm L, Talge NM, Christensen GT, Juhl M, Mortensen LH, Strandberg-Larsen K

Received 21 July 2018

Accepted for publication 25 October 2018

Published 26 November 2018 Volume 2018:10 Pages 1765—1772


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Professor Henrik Toft Sørensen

Lonny Stokholm,1 Nicole M Talge,2 Gunhild Tidemann Christensen,3–5 Mette Juhl,6 Laust Hvas Mortensen,1,7Katrine Strandberg-Larsen1

1Section of Epidemiology, Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark; 2Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Michigan State University, Michigan, USA; 3Department of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark, Danish Aging Research Center, Odense, Denmark; 4Center for Clinical Research and Prevention, Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg Hospital, Capital Region, Copenhagen, Denmark; 5Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark; 6Department of Midwifery, Copenhagen University College, Copenhagen, Denmark; 7Methods and Analysis, Statistics Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Purpose: Synthetic oxytocin for labor augmentation during birth has been linked to negative neurodevelopment effects in children. We examined whether maternal labor augmentation was associated with lower cognitive ability in young adulthoods.
Patients and methods: We identified 330,107 individuals (96.6% were men), with noninduced labor and with a cognitive ability test score, the Børge Priens Prøve (BPP) score, from draft board examinations in 1995–2015 (mean age, 18.8 years). Information on maternal labor augmentation was ascertained from the Danish Medical Birth Register, and we calculated mean differences in the BPP score according to maternal labor augmentation. We repeated our analyses in a sub-sample of siblings to control for unmeasured familial confounding.
Results: Maternal labor augmentation was not associated with any noticeable decline in cognitive ability. However, the difference in the mean BPP score for exposure to maternal labor augmentation varied according to maternal parity, as the mean difference in BPP scores increased with increasing parity, in nulliparous: mean difference=–0.14 (95% CI=–0.23 to –0.04); in maternal parity 4+: mean difference=–1.21 (95% CI=–2.905 to –0.37). The sibling analysis showed little influence of shared familial factors on the association.
Conclusion: The mean BPP was slightly lower among labor augmented compared to nonaugmented and with an increasing difference with increasing parity. However, the differences were small and could not be considered of any clinical relevance. Furthermore, the sibling analyses suggested little confounding by familial factors.

Keywords: Børge Priens Prøve, dystocia, neurodevelopment, oxytocin, siblings

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]