Pregnant women with asthma are more likely to experience an asthma-related hospitalization than women with asthma who are not pregnant, according to study results.
However, pregnant women with asthma had less outpatient visits and prescriptions for most asthma medications than non-pregnant women with asthma.
“We confirmed that pregnant asthmatic patients had more asthma-related hospitalizations than non-pregnant asthmatic patients, which could result from prominent reduction of outpatient visits or prescribed medications after pregnancy,” Sujeong Kim, MD, of the department of allergy and clinical immunology at the University of Ulsan College of Medicine in South Korea, and colleagues wrote.
Kim and colleagues conducted a retrospective, population-based study of 3,357 pregnant women to investigate health care use and prescription patterns associated with asthma during pregnancy. The researchers compared the pregnant women with asthma with 50,355 non-pregnant women with asthma.
The researchers, as they wrote, hoped to evaluate the effect of pregnancy on asthma in terms of asthma-related health care use and prescription patterns in concert with the effect of asthma exacerbations on adverse pregnancy outcomes.
The researchers noted approximately 1.3% of the pregnant women had been hospitalized at least once during pregnancy, a higher rate than among non-pregnant women with asthma after adjusting for age group and asthma exacerbation history in the previous year (0.8%) (P = .005).
But, the pregnant women had less frequent outpatient visits related to asthma compared with the non-pregnant women (P < .001).
A total of 546 patients experienced an acute asthma exacerbation at least once during the pregnancy period. Women who experienced an acute asthma exacerbation had a higher incidence of cesarean section than women who did not have an attack (27.1% vs. 18.9%; P < .001).
The researchers stressed that more research is warranted.
“To reach a more robust conclusion, further clinical investigations, including exacerbation severity and other management, such as oxygen during exacerbation, are required,” the researchers wrote. “Also, a new approach to study the effect of different behaviors on adverse pregnancy outcomes according to their asthma severity is needed to present more advanced practice guidelines for both pregnant asthmatic patients and physicians.”
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.