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Maine, VT, Highest Rates of Opioid Babies

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Vermont and Maine top a new federal study of states with increasing rates of babies born showing symptoms attributed to opioid exposure during pregnancy.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a study Friday of rates of neonatal abstinence syndrome - a group of problems ranging from irritability to rare seizures - in 28 states from 1999 to 2013.In 2013, Vermont ranked second after West Virginia with 33.3 per 1,000 hospital births.

Maine, whose 2013 data was unavailable, had a 2012 rate of 30.4 per 1,000 hospital births. Maine and Vermont's latest rates roughly doubled from 2008.

There's limited data on long-term developmental outcomes for opioid-exposed babies.A 2015 New England Journal of Medicine study of the syndrome found longer intensive care stays and higher treatment rates.