Author(s): Tan KS, Thomson NC
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Abstract Although about 1\% of pregnant women have asthma, it is often underrecognized and suboptimally treated. The course of asthma during pregnancy varies; it improves, remains stable, or worsens in similar proportions of women. The risk of an asthma exacerbation is high immediately postpartum, but the severity of asthma usually returns to the preconception level after delivery and often follows a similar course during subsequent pregnancies. Changes in beta(2)-adrenoceptor responsiveness and changes in airway inflammation induced by high levels of circulating progesterone have been proposed as possible explanations for the effects of pregnancy on asthma. Good control of asthma is essential for maternal and fetal well-being. Acute asthmatic attacks can result in dangerously low fetal oxygenation. Chronically poor control is associated with pregnancy-induced hypertension, preeclampsia, and uterine hemorrhage, as well as greater rates of cesarian section, preterm delivery, intrauterine growth retardation, low birth weight, and congenital malformation. Women with well-controlled asthma during pregnancy, however, have outcomes as good as those in their nonasthmatic counterparts. Inhaled therapies remain the cornerstone of treatment; most appear to be safe in pregnancy.
This article was published in Am J Med
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy