Asthma and Pregnancy
The Article: A meta-analysis of adverse perinatal outcomes in women with asthma. British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 2011 July 13.
The Idea: If asthma is associated with an increased risk of adverse perinatal outcomes, and to determine the size of these effects.
The Study: Meta-analysis of 33 prospective and retrospective cohort studies from 1975 to 2009 that 1. contained data comparing pregnant women to non-pregnant women, 2. reported at least one perinatal outcome of interest, and 3. were cohort studies to study the effect of asthma on pre-determined perinatal outcomes (birth size, birth timing, and pre-eclampsia)
The Findings: The authors found increased risk of adverse perinatal outcomes in women with asthma as compared to women without asthma. Furthermore, pregnant women who were poorly controlled, or had no “active management” of their asthma when compared to those pregnant women who did had even further increased risk of adverse perinatal outcomes.
The takeaway: It is important to council pregnant women who present with asthma flares on the importance and safety of taking their home medications to reduce and/or better control their asthma flares. Additionally, we should perhaps consider prescribing a combination beta-agonist/inhaled corticosteroid to these patients discharge regimen, as there is suggestion that better-controlled asthma will lead to healthier babies.