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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Asthma, preterm birth and preeclampsia

Asthma, preterm birth and preeclampsia
By Crocker Stephenson

An extensive review of pregnancies over the course of more than three decades shows that women with poorly managed asthma are at an increased risk of having a low-birth weight baby, a premature baby and other pregnancy complications, such as preeclampsia.

The new study was recently published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Christina Chambers, a professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego was part of the team of seven researchers who reviewed data involving more than 1 million women between 1975 and 2009.

“The findings are significant and call for women with asthma to be more closely monitored during pregnancy,” Chambers said.

“It would be advisable for women on regular medications for asthma or having frequent symptoms to be monitored at least monthly during the course of their pregnancies,” she said.

The study found that the infants of women with asthma were likely to weigh an average of 0.2 lbs. less at birth compared to babies of mothers without asthma. Mothers with poorly controlled asthma were also at a 25% increased risk of preterm birth and 50% increased risk of developing preeclampsia, a condition in which high blood pressure develops during pregnancy.

Click here to read more about the study.

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