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New mothers with RA report physical challenges because of disease activity

Key clinical point: Approximately 40% of pregnant women with rheumatoid arthritis report postpartum parenting problems related to their disease, based on Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ) scores before and during pregnancy, and at 6, 12, and 26 weeks postpartum.

Major finding: New mothers with RA reported having more problems with the physical domains of parenting, such as picking up and carrying children, hygiene, feeding, getting down on the floor to play with children, getting out in the car, shopping, and performing household chores, compared with social domains; a HAQ score greater than 0.625 before conception or early in pregnancy could indicate an increased risk for these physical challenges.

Study details: The data come from a prospective study of 148 pregnant women with rheumatoid arthritis.

Disclosures: The study was supported by the Dutch Arthritis Foundation. One author disclosed research support from UCB. The other researchers had no financial conflicts to disclose.


Smeele HTW et al. RMD Open. 2020 June 17. doi: 10.1136/rmdopen-2020-001276.