The frequency of neonatal abstinence syndrome rose more in rural than urban counties between 2004 and 2013, according to a research letter published online yesterday by JAMA Pediatrics. The NAS rate per 1,000 hospital births rose from 1.2 to 7.5 among rural infants, and from 1.4 to 4.8 among urban infants, the study found. The frequency of hospital deliveries complicated by maternal opioid use rose from 1.3 to 8.1 per 1,000 among rural mothers, and from 1.6 to 4.8 per 1,000 among urban mothers. “This geographic disparity highlights the urgent need for policymakers to appropriate funding for clinicians and programs that could improve access to opioid prevention and treatment services for rural women and children,” the authors said.