August 08, 2014
1 min read

Mothers with celiac disease showed no major increased risk for pregnancy complications

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Celiac disease in pregnant women is not associated with a significantly greater risk for pregnancy complications or adverse birth outcomes, according to new research data.

Alyshah A. Sultan, PhD, division of epidemiology and public health, University of Nottingham, and colleagues evaluated estimates of pregnancy complications (antepartum and postpartum hemorrhage, pre-eclampsia and mode of delivery) and adverse birth outcomes (preterm birth, stillbirth and low birth weight) in women with celiac disease (CD), both diagnosed and undiagnosed before delivery, compared with pregnancies of women without CD. Researchers included 363,930 pregnancies (0.25% women with CD) identified using data from 1997 to 2012.

Alyshah A. Sultan, PhD

Alyshah A. Sultan

The diagnosed CD group (62% of total CD group) did not have an overall increased risk for pregnancy complications or adverse birth outcomes vs. controls. In the diagnosed CD group, however, postpartum hemorrhage showed a 34% increased adjusted relative risk (aOR=1.34; 95% CI, 1.04-1.72), compared with the non-CD group. There also was a greater risk for assisted deliveries in the diagnosed CD group compared with the non-CD group (absolute risk, 15% vs. 12%), with a 34% increased relative risk (aOR=1.34; 95% CI, 1.05-1.71).

The undiagnosed CD group was not at increased risk for pregnancy complications, but there was a 1% absolute excess risk for preterm birth (aOR=1.24; 95% CI, 0.82-1.87) and low birth weight (aOR=1.36; 95%, 0.83-2.24). 

“Most women with CD diagnosed either before or after pregnancy will have a pregnancy and delivery that is not complicated by an adverse event,” Sultan told “Women with diagnosed with CD may have a slightly increased risk of postpartum hemorrhage but the reasons for this are not clear.”

Disclosure: CORE/Coeliac UK; Joe West, PhD, is funded by a University of Nottingham/Nottingham University Hospitals National Health Service Trust Senior Clinical Research Fellowship.