Pregnant women with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) are at increased risk for preterm delivery (PTD), according to a recent study. Furthermore, maternal disease activity and corticosteroid use may contribute to some of this excess risk. A total of 657 women with RA, 170 with JIA, and 564 comparison women without autoimmune disease who delivered live‐born infants from 2004‐2017 were included for analysis. All were enrolled before 19 weeks’ completed gestation as part of the Organization of Teratology Information Specialists (OTIS) Autoimmune Disease in Pregnancy Project. Data on pregnancy events, medications, disease activity, and outcomes were obtained by maternal report and validated by medical records. Researchers found:
- Both RA and JIA groups had an increased risk of PTD vs the comparison group.
- Active RA at enrollment and any time during pregnancy was associated with PTD.
- Corticosteroid use in every trimester was associated with an approximate 2- to 5‐fold increased risk for PTD for both arthritis groups, independent of disease activity.
Smith CJF, Förger F, Bandoli G, Chambers CD. Factors associated with preterm delivery among women with rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile idiopathic arthritis. [Published online ahead of print August 21, 2018]. Arthritis Care Res. doi:10.1002/acr.23730.