The Association of Antenatal Steroids and Hypoglycemia in Preterm Neonates



Antenatal steroids have shown to decrease the rate of neonatal complications and morbidity; however, neonates are predisposed to significant hypoglycemia resulting in invasive interventions and prolonged nursery admissions. The risk of hypoglycemia in the preterm has been well studied, but the association of antenatal steroids and hypoglycemia in preterm neonates has not been well explored. Thus, we sought to determine the association of antenatal steroids given to mothers who delivered prematurely and the development of neonatal hypoglycemia.


A cross-sectional study using chart review was done on mother–preterm neonate pairs admitted in the charity obstetrical ward of The University of Santo Tomas Hospital from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2019. The subjects were mothers either given or not given antenatal steroids before preterm delivery and their respective neonates. The provision of antenatal steroids was the primary exposure, while neonatal hypoglycemia was the primary outcome. Measurement of association was done using odds ratios. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were done.


Of the 69 preterm neonates included in the study, hypoglycemia was observed in 14 neonates, among which 8 neonates were exposed to antenatal steroids. After examining the association using Fisher’s exact formula and controlling for potential confounders, neonatal hypoglycemia was not significantly higher among neonates exposed to antenatal steroids.


Antenatal steroids given to mothers who delivered preterm were not associated with the development of neonatal hypoglycemia. A prospective study model, larger population size and longer study coverage should be made to strengthen the outcome of the study.

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