Pregnant women with asthma should take special care to keep their asthma in check.
Canadian researchers have found that asthma attacks during pregnancy are associated with a number of serious health problems for both mother and child.
The observational study, in The European Respiratory Journal, used data on 103,424 pregnancies in women with asthma. Exacerbations — shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing or chest tightness — that required medical attention occurred in 4,455 of the pregnancies.
After adjusting for other factors, compared with women who had no exacerbations, those who did had a 30 percent increased relative risk for pre-eclampsia, the dangerously high blood pressure of pregnancy. They also had a 14 percent increased risk for having a low birth weight baby, a 14 percent increased risk for preterm birth, and a 21 percent increased risk for having a baby with a congenital malformation.