Crohn's disease is associated with increased risk of adverse birth outcomes.
However, existing studies have not taken into account the impact of drug treatment.
Dr Bente Nørgård and colleagues from Denmark examined the impact of drug treatment on birth outcomes among women with Crohn‘s disease.
The birth outcomes included low birth weight, preterm birth, low birth weight at term, and congenital abnormalities.
A nationwide Danish cohort study of 900 children born to Crohn's disease women between 1996 and 2004.
The data was based on the National Registry of Patients, the Birth Registry, and the nationwide prescription database.
|The risk of preterm birth was 1.4|
|The American Journal of Gastroenterology|
Pregnancies were classified according to receipt of prescriptions for Crohn's disease medication.
The reference group received no drugs, 5-aminosalicylic acid/sulfasalazine, steroids, and azathioprine/6-mercaptopurine.
The research team used logistic regression analyses to estimate the relative risk of birth outcomes with 95% confidence intervals.
The team used a proxy measure for disease activity.
Preterm births were more prevalent among steroid- and azathioprine/6-mercaptopurine-exposed women compared with the reference group.
Congenital abnormalities were more prevalent among azathioprine/6-mercaptopurine-exposed compared with reference group.
Among steroid exposed, the researchers found that the risk of preterm birth was 1.4.
Among azathioprine/6-mercaptopurine exposed, the risk of preterm birth and congenital abnormalities was 4 and 3, respectively.
Dr Nørgård's team comments, "The relative risk of adverse birth outcomes among Crohn's disease women varied by type of drugs prescribed during pregnancy."
"The risk of preterm birth and congenital abnormalities was greater when azathioprine/6-mercaptopurine was prescribed, even after adjusting for confounders."
"However, further information is needed to determine whether the associations are causal."