DOI: 10.1002/ijgo.15413 ISSN: 0020-7292

Antenatal steroids and neonatal outcomes in late preterm births with pregestational diabetes

Kavisha Khanuja, Jenani Jayakumaran, Huda B. Al‐Kouatly, Rodney A. McLaren
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • General Medicine



To evaluate if antenatal steroid use was associated with a lower rate of respiratory complications in neonates born late preterm to patients with pregestational diabetes mellitus (PGDM).


This was a retrospective cohort study of live, singleton, non‐anomalous, late preterm births complicated by PGDM using data from the Centers for Disease Control and National Vital Statistics System from 2017 to 2021. The primary (assisted ventilation use >6 h) and secondary neonatal outcomes (immediate assisted ventilation, Apgar score, neonatal intensive care unit [NICU] admission, and surfactant use) were compared between births that received steroids and those that did not. Multivariable analyses were performed to adjust for differences in demographic and clinical characteristics.


There were 24 323 late preterm births with PGDM, of which 4613 received antenatal steroids and 19 710 did not receive steroids. After adjusting for the differences among the two groups, the need for assisted neonatal ventilation for more than 6 h (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 1.69, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.53–1.86), immediate assisted neonatal ventilation (aOR 1.67, 95% CI 1.55–1.80), NICU admission (aOR 1.95, 95% CI 1.81–2.10), and surfactant use (aOR 1.68, 95% CI 1.40–2.02) were higher in the births that received steroids compared with those that did not. These findings did not differ when examining outcomes at each gestational week of delivery between 34 weeks 0 days and 36 weeks 6 days.


Antenatal steroid use in late preterm births complicated with PGDM was associated with worse immediate respiratory neonatal outcomes. Our findings support current recommendations against the use of steroids in the late preterm period in pregnancies with PGDM.

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