Article

Use of anti-asthmatic drugs during pregnancy. 2. Infant characteristics excluding congenital malformations

Tornblad Institute, University of Lund, Biskopsgatan 7, 223 62, Lund, Sweden.
European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology (Impact Factor: 2.7). 05/2007; 63(4):375-81. DOI: 10.1007/s00228-006-0258-0
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To study the characteristics of the infants born to women who have used anti-asthmatic drugs during pregnancy.
Various characteristics of infants with mothers who had reported the use of anti-asthmatic drugs in early pregnancy (n=24,750) or had such drugs prescribed later during pregnancy by a maternity health care centre (n=763) were identified from the Swedish Medical Birth Register and compared to those of all infants. Risks estimated with Mantel-Haenszel technique were expressed as odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals after adjustment for a number of putative confounders. The severity of maternal asthma was assessed on the basis of the number of anti-asthmatic drugs used.
An increased risk for preterm birth, low birth weight and small for gestational age was found, which increased with the number of anti-asthmatic drugs used by the mother during pregnancy (OR=1.46, 1.67, and 1.70, respectively, when three or more drugs had been used). An increased risk for large for gestational age could be explained by the effect of gestational diabetes and high body mass index. An increased risk for neonatal icterus was mainly an effect of preterm birth, while an increased risk for respiratory problems and/or low Apgar score (OR=1.43) was only slightly reduced in full-term infants. An increased risk for hyperglycaemia (OR=1.62) was not explained by confounding from maternal diabetes. No risk increase was found for neonatal convulsions or cerebral haemorrhage. Mortality was increased only among infants whose mother had used three or more anti-asthmatic drugs (OR=1.52).
Infants whose mothers had asthma had a number of manifestations of poor outcome which appeared to be linked with the severity of the asthma.

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We thus conducted a research project composed of five studies to achieve the following objectives: 1. to develop and validate two database indexes, one to measure the control of asthma and the other to measure asthma severity; 2. to evaluate the effect of fetal gender on maternal asthma exacerbations and the use of asthma medications during pregnancy; 3. to evaluate the impact of maternal asthma on adverse perinatal outcomes; 4. to evaluate the impact of the severity of asthma during pregnancy on adverse perinatal outcomes; 5. to evaluate the impact of adequately controlled maternal asthma during pregnancy on adverse perinatal outcomes. A large population-based cohort was reconstructed through the linking of three of Quebec’s (Canada) administrative databases covering the period between 1990 and 2002. A two-stage sampling cohort design was used to collect additional information on the women’s life-style habits by way of a mailed questionnaire for the three last studies. We have observed no significant differences between mothers of a female and male fetus as to the occurrence of asthma exacerbations (aRR=1.02; 95% CI: 0.92 to 1.14). We have found that the risk of SGA (OR: 1.27, 95% CI: 1.14-1.41), LBW (OR: 1.41, 95% CI:1.22-1.63) and preterm delivery (OR: 1.64, 95%CI:1.46-1.83) was significantly higher among asthmatic than non-asthmatic women. Moreover, our results showed that the risk of SGA was significantly higher among severe (OR:1.48, 95%CI: 1.15-1.91) and moderate asthmatic women (OR: 1.30, 95%CI:1.10-1.55) than mild asthmatic women. Also, mothers with adequately controlled asthma during pregnancy were found to be at higher risk of adverse perinatal outcomes than non-asthmatic women (SGA (OR:1.28, 95%CI: 1.15-1.43), LBW (OR: 1.42, 95%CI:1.22-1.66), and preterm deliveries (OR: 1.63, 95%CI:1.46-1.83)). 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