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Good asthma control during pregnancy is vital says new review
Date:9/5/2013

Good asthma management during pregnancy is vital during pregnancy as poor asthma control can have adverse effects on maternal and fetal outcomes, says a new review published today (06 September) in The Obstetrician & Gynaecologist (TOG).

Asthma is a common condition that affects around 10% of pregnant women, making it the most common chronic condition in pregnancy.

The review notes that the severity of asthma during pregnancy remains unchanged, worsens or improves in equal proportions. For women with severe asthma, control is more likely to deteriorate (around 60% of cases) compared to women with mild asthma (around 10% of cases). However, the authors conclude that all pregnant women with asthma need to be closely reviewed throughout pregnancy, irrespective of disease severity.

National guidelines recommend the management and treatment for asthma in pregnant women should be generally the same as for non-pregnant women and men, with the intensity of antenatal maternal and fetal surveillance to be based on the severity of their condition.

The authors also note that poor asthma control can lead to adverse effects on maternal and fetal outcomes, with previous studies suggesting poor asthma control is associated with hypertension in pregnancy, a higher frequency of caesarean section and low birth weight. However, the authors emphasise that in most women with well-controlled asthma there are no or minimal additional risks.

The review states the concerns held by mothers and healthcare providers on the potential adverse effects that asthma drugs can have on both the women and their babies, but concludes that it is still safer for women to use asthma therapy in pregnancy to avoid uncontrolled asthma.

Furthermore, asthma does not usually affect labour or delivery with less than a fifth of women experiencing an exacerbation during labour. Additionally, in the postpartum period there is no increased ris
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Contact: Rebecca Jones
rjones@rcog.org.uk
020-777-26444
Wiley
Source:Eurekalert

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