Black, Hispanic Patients More Likely To Be Tested for Perinatal Cannabis Use
According to data published in the journal Hospital Pediatrics, patients selected to undergo drug screening during the labor and delivery process for cannabis are disproportionately Hispanic or African American and were also more likely to be on subsidized health insurance plans. The team of researchers from the American Academy of Pediatrics looked to describe the characteristics of people undergoing toxicology testing at delivery solely for the indication of cannabis use along with evaluating the rate of unexpected positive testing results among the cohort to identify additional social risk factors and clinical outcomes. The Disproportionate Impact of Perinatal Drug Testing The retrospective cohort study included dyads with a maternal history of cannabis use who were given peripartum toxicology testing between 2016 and 2020 at five Massachusetts birthing hospitals. Researchers reviewed a total of 60,608 live births, of which 1,924 dyads underwent toxicology testing. Of that group, 614 (31.9%) were tested for the sole indication of cannabis use. The data revealed that significantly greater patients in the cannabis cohort were less than 25 years old, non-Hispanic Black, Hispanic or Latino and publicly insured. Specifically, Hispanic patients were twice as likely to be mandated to undergo testing (30.5% vs. 15.5% of the birthing population) and Black patients were four times as likely (32.4% vs. 8.1%). Patients under 25 were more than five times as likely to be mandated for testing (32.4% vs. 6.1%), and those on public healthcare plans were more than twice as likely to be tested for past cannabis exposure (39.9% vs. 15.6%). Regarding positive results, eight of the 614 dyads (1.3%) had an unexpected positive toxicology test result, including two (0.3%) who unexpectedly tested positive for opioids. Seven dyads (1.1%) also had false positive test results for unexpected substances. Doctors also rarely took any follow up actions or made changes…
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