Maternal Asthma Tied to Risk of Preeclampsia, Prematurity


NEW ORLEANS — Maternal asthma has a significant effect on several adverse pregnancy outcomes including preeclampsia, preterm delivery, and low birth weight, based on a meta-analysis of 30 studies.

Pregnant asthmatic women have been reported to have an overall increased risk of adverse perinatal outcomes, but study results are conflicting, Dr. Jennifer Namazy said at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.

“Our meta-analysis was conducted to see whether the risks were real,” said Dr. Namazy of Scripps Health in San Diego.

Dr. Namazy and her colleagues' review included prospective cohort studies and retrospective studies conducted between 1975 and 2009, in which pregnancy outcomes were compared between women with asthma and nonasthmatic controls. The 30 studies included 8 studies involving asthma management.

Compared with control women without asthma, asthmatic women had a significantly increased risk of preeclampsia (relative risk, 1.54). Low birth weight (defined as 2,500 g or less) was significantly more likely in babies of women with asthma (RR, 1.46). Babies born prematurely (birth after less than 37 weeks' gestation) or small for gestational age were significantly more likely among women with asthma compared with controls (RR, 1.41 and 1.22). Neonatal death was significantly more likely in babies of women with asthma (RR, 1.49). Perinatal mortality (stillbirth plus neonatal death) was significantly more likely in babies of women with asthma (RR, 1.25). No significant associations were seen between maternal asthma and an increased risk of congenital anomalies (RR, 1.08).

“The data suggest that active management may reduce some, but not other perinatal complications,” she said. But active management may not ensure adequate asthma control, and more research is needed to specifically assess the effect of asthma control on perinatal outcomes.

Disclosures: Dr. Namazy has served as a consultant for Genentech.

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