Crohn's Improves After Smokers Quit During Pregnancy
Crohn's disease can have negativeimplications in pregnancy, includingincreased risks for preterm delivery andlow birth weight, in women with active diseaseat conception. Smoking increasesthese risks and can exacerbate Crohn'sdisease symptoms. Crohn's disease statuswas evaluated in 70 pregnanciesamong 61 women, and the results of thestudy were reported in Alimentary Pharmacologyand Therapeutics (March2005). The Harvey-Bradshaw index (HBI)of disease status was determined duringthe year before conception, during the 9months of gestation, and during the yearafter delivery.
Of the participants, 22 of the pregnanciesinvolved mothers who smoked. Thirteenmothers significantly curtailed smokingduring gestation but resumed afterdelivery, 3 quit smoking altogether, and 6continued to smoke throughout pregnancyand after delivery. There was no significantchange in average HBI score among thenonsmokers. In the 22 pregnancies involvingsmokers, average HBI scores were significantlyimproved during gestation, comparedwith scores before conception andafter delivery. The authors concluded thatreduced smoking during pregnancy has apositive effect on Crohn's disease symptomsand, thus, will improve pregnancyoutcomes in mothers with the disease.