Pregnant women with moderate-to-severe asthma symptoms are more at risk for developing preeclampsia, compared with women with no asthma symptoms, indicated a study reported in Obstetrics and Gynecology (September 2004). While a self-reported diagnosis of asthma does not increase the risk of preeclampsia, active asthma symptoms throughout pregnancy up the risk, noted the researchers.

For the study, the researchers followed 1708 pregnant women, 656 with asthma and 1052 without asthma. The investigators factored in asthma treatment, medication use, obesity, age, and smoking early in pregnancy. The results showed that neither overall asthma severity nor having physician-diagnosed asthma was connected with the odds of developing preeclampsia. On the other hand, the frequency of asthma symptoms (wheeze, persistent cough, and chest tightness) during pregnancy was associated with the risk of preeclampsia. The research also showed that women with daily symptoms were 3 times more apt to develop preeclampsia, compared with women with no asthma symptoms.