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Bowel disease increases pregnancy risks

Women with inflammatory bowel disease have an increased risk of delivering premature and low-birth-weight infants.

Bowel disease increases pregnancy risks

Women with inflammatory bowel disease have an increased risk of delivering premature and low-birth-weight infants. Inflammatory bowel disease actually consists of two main diseases: ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. While many differences exist between the two, both are chronic diseases that often impair quality of life and are usually treated with a combination of medications and surgery. Also, it was found that inflammatory bowel disease usually develops during the peak reproductive years. To provide a clear risk assessment of adverse outcomes during pregnancy in women with inflammatory bowel disease, researchers from the Imperial College, London conducted several studies to report outcomes of pregnancy in inflammatory bowel disease patients. They identified 12 studies that met their criteria for analysis, and these included 1,952 Crohn's disease patients, 1,113 ulcerative colitis patients, and 320,531 healthy people for comparison. The findings suggest that women with inflammatory bowel disease were nearly twice as likely to have premature infants compared with healthy subjects. Patients with inflammatory bowel disease also had a higher risk of low-birth-weight infants and caesarean section deliveries. On the other hand, there was no significant difference in the risk of congenital abnormalities between infants born to women with inflammatory bowel disease and those born to healthy subjects. The patients with inflammatory bowel disease during pregnancy should be treated as a potentially high-risk group.
Gut,
June 2007
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