Mom's Asthma Linked to Premature Babies: Study

By R. Stickney
|  Tuesday, Aug 9, 2011  |  Updated 1:29 PM PDT
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Mothers who don’t carefully manage their asthma are at greater risk of premature birth and preeclampsia according to results of a new study.

A team of researchers, including a professor at UCSD, studied data from more than one million pregnancies between 1975 and 2009.

Mothers with poorly-controlled asthma were at a 25% increased risk of pre-term birth and 50% increased risk of developing preeclampsia, a condition in which high blood pressure develops during pregnancy.

"The findings are significant and call for women with asthma to be more closely-monitored during pregnancy," said Christina Chambers, PhD, MPH, a professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego.

The study, published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, shows only uncontrolled asthma increases the risk.

However, one local asthma specialist wants to see more research.

"The study does not clarify the mechanism of the increased risk," said Michael Schatz, MD, at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in San Diego and also a co-author on the study.

"More information on other potential factors, such as asthma medications, is needed," he said. 

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