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Journal of Pregnancy has retracted this article. The article was found to contain a substantial amount of material from the following published article by the same authors: D. Pole, C. A. Mustard, T. To, J. Beyene, and A. C. Allen, “Antenatal steroid therapy for fetal lung maturation: is there an association with childhood asthma?” Journal of Asthma, vol. 46, no. 1, pp. 47–52, 2009. That article was cited in the “Methods” section, but not discussed.

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  1. J. D. Pole, C. A. Mustard, T. To, J. Beyene, and A. C. Allen, “Antenatal steroid therapy for fetal lung maturation and the subsequent risk of childhood asthma: a longitudinal analysis,” Journal of Pregnancy, vol. 2010, Article ID 789748, 9 pages, 2010.
Journal of Pregnancy
Volume 2010, Article ID 789748, 9 pages
Research Article

Antenatal Steroid Therapy for Fetal Lung Maturation and the Subsequent Risk of Childhood Asthma: A Longitudinal Analysis

1Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada M5T 3M7
2Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario, Toronto, ON, Canada M5G 1V2
3Child Health Evaluative Sciences, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON, Canada M5G 1X8
4Department of Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada L8N 3Z5
5Perinatal Epidemiology Research Unit, Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Pediatrics, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3K 6R8

Received 26 January 2010; Accepted 6 April 2010

Academic Editor: Sam Mesiano

Copyright © 2010 Jason D. Pole et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study was designed to test the hypothesis that fetal exposure to corticosteroids in the antenatal period is an independent risk factor for the development of asthma in early childhood with little or no effect in later childhood. A population-based cohort study of all pregnant women who resided in Nova Scotia, Canada, and gave birth to a singleton fetus between 1989 and 1998 was undertaken. After a priori specified exclusions, 80,448 infants were available for analysis. Using linked health care utilization records, incident asthma cases developed after 36 months of age were identified. Extended Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate hazard ratios while controlling for confounders. Exposure to corticosteroids during pregnancy was associated with a risk of asthma in childhood between 3–5 years of age: adjusted hazard ratio of 1.19 (95% confidence interval: 1.03, 1.39), with no association noted after 5 years of age: adjusted hazard ratio for 5–7 years was 1.06 (95% confidence interval: 0.86, 1.30) and for 8 or greater years was 0.74 (95% confidence interval: 0.54, 1.03). Antenatal steroid therapy appears to be an independent risk factor for the development of asthma between 3 and 5 years of age.