- Asthma also raises the risk of a c-section, underweight baby and early delivery
- Previous research suggests prescribed steroid medications are to blame
- Researchers claim well-controlled asthma in pregnancy could reduce the risks
- Up to 6% of women in the UK have pre-eclampsia; asthma affects one in 12
- Researchers from the Karolinska Institute analysed 1,075,153 pregnancies
Women with asthma are 17 per cent more likely to develop pre-eclampsia, new research reveals.
They are also at a raised risk of having a cesarean section, underweight baby and short pregnancy, a study found.
The study did not discuss why asthma increases women’s chance of suffering certain pregnancy complications, however, previous research suggests it may be due to the steroid medications patients are often prescribed.
Lead author Dr Gustaf Rejnö from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, said: ‘Asthma causes these complications.This means that well-controlled asthma during pregnancy could reduce the relative incidence of complications during pregnancy and childbirth.’
Pre-eclampsia affects up to six per cent of pregnant women in the UK and is defined as raised blood pressure and the presence of protein in urine. Although complications are rare, the condition can cause stroke in mothers and slow growth in babies if untreated.
Women with asthma are 17 per cent more likely to develop pre-eclampsia, study shows (stock)
HAVING A CHEST INFECTION AS A CHILD RAISES AN ADULT’S RISK OF ASTHMA BY UP TO FOUR TIMES
Having a chest infection as a child raises a person’s risk of asthma by up to four times, research revealed last month.
Suffering from a lower-respiratory tract infection, such as bronchitis or pneumonia, before the age of five increases an individual’s likelihood of developing the lung condition by between two and four times, a study found.
An upper-respiratory tract infection, including a cold or tonsillitis, raises the risk by 1.5 times, the research adds.
Study author Dr Evelien van Meel from the Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands, said: ‘These findings support the hypothesis that early-life respiratory tract infections may influence the development of respiratory illnesses in the longer term.
‘In particular, lower-respiratory tract infections in early life seem to have the greatest adverse effect on lung function and the risk of asthma.’
How the research was carried out
The researchers analysed 1,075,153 pregnancies from more than 700,000 women between 2001 and 2013.
Data was collected on the study’s participant’s pregnancy outcomes, and any prescribed drugs or asthma diagnoses.
Some 10.1 per cent of the participants had asthma.
‘Pre-eclampsia is 17% in higher in women with asthma’
Results reveal having asthma makes women significantly more likely to have pre-eclampsia, a cesarean section, underweight babies and short pregnancies.
Dr Rejnö said: ‘Four per cent of all pregnant women develop pre-eclampsia. We found that the risk of pre-eclampsia is 17 per cent higher in women with asthma compared to women without asthma.
‘It seems to be the asthma per se that causes these complication.
‘This means that well-controlled asthma during pregnancy could reduce the relative incidence of complications during pregnancy and childbirth.’
The study did not discuss why asthma increases women’s risk of suffering certain pregnancy complications, however, previous research suggests it may be due to the steroid medications patients are often prescribed.
The findings were published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice.