Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Prenatal exposure to arecoline (areca nut alkaloid) and birth outcomes
  1. O García-Algar1,
  2. O Vall1,
  3. F Alameda2,
  4. C Puig1,
  5. M Pellegrini3,
  6. R Pacifici3,
  7. S Pichini3
  1. 1Paediatric Service, Unitat de Recerca Infància i Entorn (URIE), Hospital del Mar, Barcelona, Spain and Departament de Pediatria, Ginecologia i Obstetricia, i Medicina Preventiva, Universitat Autònoma, Barcelona, Spain
  2. 2Pathology Service, Hospital del Mar
  3. 3Drug Research and Evaluation Department, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr García-Algar
    Pediatric Service, Hospital del Mar, Paseo Marítimo 25–29, 08003 Barcelona, Spain;


The betel nut is commonly used as a drug by Asian populations. A high prevalence of adverse pregnancy outcomes has been reported in women who chewed betel quid during gestation. The hypothesis that chronic exposure of the fetus to arecoline (the principal alkaloid of the areca nut) is the cause was investigated in a clinical observational study on six newborns from Asian mothers who chewed betel nut during pregnancy.

  • betel nut
  • arecoline
  • birth outcomes
  • meconium
  • placenta

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.