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Maternal Asthma Increases Risk of Preeclampsia

 Maternal asthma is associated with an increased risk of adverse perinatal outcomes, including increased risk of low birth weight, small for gestational age (SGA), preterm labor and delivery, and preeclampsia, according to a meta-analysis published online July 13 in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Vaness E. Murphy, from the University of Newcastle and Hunter Medical Research Institute in Australia, and colleagues reviewed 103 articles (published between 1975 and 2009) reporting perinatal outcomes in pregnant women with and without asthma. Of these articles, 40 publications, involving 1,637,180 participants, were analyzed to ascertain whether maternal asthma is associated with an increased risk of adverse perinatal outcomes. Meta-analysis was performed with subgroup analyses by active asthma management and study design.

The investigators found that maternal asthma correlated with an increased risk of low birth weight (relative risk [RR], 1.46), SGA (RR, 1.22), preterm delivery (RR, 1.41), and preeclampsia (RR, 1.54). Active asthma management reduced the RR of preterm delivery (RR, 1.07), and preterm labor (RR, 0.96) to non-significant levels (RR, 1.07; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.91 to 1.26 and RR, 0.96; 95 percent CI, 0.73 to 1.26, respectively).

"Pregnant women with asthma are at increased risk of perinatal complications, including preeclampsia and outcomes that affect the baby's size and timing of birth, " the authors write.

One of the study authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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