Asthma in White and Hispanic Women May Increase Risk of Adverse Outcomes

Pauline Mendola, PhD, Investigator Epidemiology Branch Division of Intramural Population Health Research Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH Rockville, MD 20852 MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Pauline Mendola, PhD, Investigator

Epidemiology Branch
Division of Intramural Population Health Research
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH
Rockville, MD 20852

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Mendola: Asthma is the most common chronic disease in pregnancy and both asthma and maternal race/ethnicity are associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes. Since the prevalence of asthma also varies by race/ethnicity, we wanted to assess whether asthma was an important contributor to racial/ethnic disparities in pregnancy outcomes. We examined the joint impact of maternal race/ethnicity and asthma status on the risk of obstetric and neonatal outcomes.

In general, maternal asthma did not impact the risk of obstetric and neonatal complications within racial/ethnic groups. However, compared to mothers of the same race/ethnicity without asthma, White and Hispanic asthmatic mothers were more likely to have infants born small-for gestational age or admitted to the NICU. White women with asthma were also at increased risk of preeclampsia and maternal hemorrhage and Hispanic mothers with asthma were more likely to have infants with apnea. Despite their increased risk of maternal asthma and neonatal and obstetric complications, maternal asthma did not impact the risk of complications among Black women or their infants.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Mendola: Our analyses suggest that asthma is not a strong contributor to racial/ethnic disparities in adverse pregnancy and birth outcomes. This is very reassuring, particularly for Black women who have both high rates of asthma and of adverse outcomes. Careful management of asthma is important in pregnancy since the literature suggests this improves obstetric and neonatal outcomes. White and Hispanic mothers with asthma appear to experience higher risk for some of the outcomes we studied.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Mendola: We did not have information on asthma treatment or severity. Given the high prevalence of asthma in Black women, future research is needed to understand if our null findings are a result of greater asthma monitoring during pregnancy or unmeasured competing risks. Additionally, future studies should be more inclusive with respect to racial and ethnic groups studied. Our data did not contain information on Hispanic or Asian/Pacific Islander subgroups or countries of origin. Both asthma prevalence and birth outcomes vary for many subgroups, so further work is needed to determine if asthma contributes to other perinatal health disparities among those groups.

Citation:

Does maternal asthma contribute to racial/ethnic disparities in obstetric and neonatal complications?

Katrina F. Flores Candace A. Robledo Beom Seuk. Hwang Kira Leishear Katherine Laughon Grantz Pauline Mendola

Annals of Epidemiology Available online 30 January 2015

 

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:, & Pauline Mendola, PhD, Investigator (2015). Asthma in White and Hispanic Women May Increase Risk of Adverse Outcomes MedicalResearch.com

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