Inflammatory bowel disease affects pregnancy outcomes

July 17, 2007

Women with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have more adverse pregnancy outcomes such as premature birth and low birthweight than women without IBD, researchers report in the June issue of Gut.

Women with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have more adverse pregnancy outcomes such as premature birth and low birthweight than women without IBD, researchers report in the June issue of Gut.

Paris P. Tekkis, MD, from Imperial College in London, UK, and colleagues performed a meta-analysis of 12 published studies examining pregnancy outcomes in women with IBD (Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis). The studies included 3,907 IBD patients and 320,531 controls.

The researchers found that IBD significantly increased the risk of premature birth (relative risk of birth at less than 37 weeks, 1.87), low birthweight (less than 2,500 g, RR, 2.1), cesarean section (RR,1.5) and congenital abnormalities (RR, 2.37).

"The study has shown a higher incidence of adverse pregnancy outcomes in patients with IBD," Tekkis and colleagues conclude. "This has an effect on the management of patients with IBD during pregnancy, who should be treated as a potentially high-risk group."

Cornish J, Tan E, Teare J, et al. Meta-analysis on the influence of inflammatory bowel disease on pregnancy. Gut. 2007;56:830-837.