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Danish study finds reassuring data on pregnancy outcomes in atopic dermatitis patients



Women with active atopic dermatitis during pregnancy and their physicians can find reassurance in the Danish national experience over an 18-year period, which showed no increased risk of pregnancy and birth problems other than modestly increased risks of premature rupture of membranes and neonatal staphylococcal septicemia, according to Jacob P. Thyssen, MD, PhD.

Dr. Jacob P. Thyssen, University of Copenhagen Bruce Jancin/MDedge News

Dr. Jacob P. Thyssen

At a session of the European Task Force of Atopic Dermatitis held in conjunction with the annual congress of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, he presented a case control study of 10,668 births to Danish women with atopic dermatitis (AD) during 1997-2014. They were matched 1:10 by age, parity, and birth year to mothers without AD.

The risk of premature rupture of membranes was 15% higher in mothers with AD. And while the increased relative risk of neonatal staphylococcal septicemia was more substantial – a 145% increase – this was in fact a rare complication, observed Dr. Thyssen, a dermatologist at the University of Copenhagen.

There was no significant difference between women with or without AD in rates of preeclampsia, prematurity, pregnancy-induced hypertension, placenta previa, placental abruption, neonatal nonstaphylococcal septicemia, or other complications. The two groups had a similar number of visits to physicians and midwives during pregnancy.

Moreover, although the body mass index was similar in women with or without AD, the risk of gestational diabetes in women with the disease was significantly reduced by 21%; their risk of having a large-for-gestational-age baby with a birth weight of 4,500 g or more was also significantly lower than in controls.

Women received less treatment for AD during their pregnancy than they did beforehand. While pregnant, their disease was managed predominantly with topical corticosteroids and UV therapy. There was very little use of superpotent topical steroids, topical calcineurin inhibitors, or immunosuppressants, although 10% of pregnant women received systemic corticosteroids for their AD.

Dr. Thyssen reported serving as a scientific adviser and paid speaker for Leo Pharma, Roche, Eli Lilly, and Sanofi-Genzyme, although this study was conducted without commercial support.

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