Dr Pedersen and colleagues from Denmark investigated the impact of pregnancy on inflammatory bowel disease, and searched for factors with potential impact on remission.
Pregnant Crohn's disease women from 12 European countries were enrolled between 2003 and 2006 and compared at conception with nonpregnant inflammatory bowel disease women.
The researchers prospectively collected data on disease course at each trimester during pregnancy, and in the postpartum using a standardized questionnaire.
|The calculated pooled gastric cancer incidence-rate was about 0.3% per person-years|
|Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics|
A total of 209 pregnant inflammatory bowel disease women were included: 92 with Crohn's disease and 117 with ulcerative colitis.
No statistically significant difference in disease course during pregnancy and postpartum was observed between pregnant and nonpregnant Crohn's disease women.
Longer disease duration in Crohn's disease and immunosuppressive therapy were found to be risk factors for activity during pregnancy.
Pregnant ulcerative colitis women were more likely than nonpregnant ulcerative colitis women to relapse both during pregnancy and postpartum.
The doctors found that during pregnancy, relapse was mainly observed in the first and the second trimester.
Dr Pedersen's team concludes, "Pregnant women with Crohn's disease had a similar disease course both during pregnancy and after delivery as the nonpregnant women."
"In contrast, pregnant women with ulcerative colitis were at higher risk of relapse during pregnancy, and in the postpartum than nonpregnant ulcerative colitis women."