Cesarean deliveries and preeclampsiaare more prevalent in asthmaticwomen as a result of obesity, not asthma,according to researchers fromHuntzel Hospital-Wayne State University.The data, which appeared inthe July 2006 issue of Obstetrics andGynecology, focused on approximately1700 pregnant women with asthmaand > 800 pregnant women withoutasthma. In the asthma group, 30.7%were obese, compared with 25.5% inthe control group. Removing the presenceof asthma from the equation,obese women were 60% more likely toundergo cesarean delivery and 70%more likely to develop preeclampsia orhigh blood pressure. Obese womenwere also more than 4 times as likelyto have diabetes related to pregnancy.Rates of asthma improvement betweenthe obese women and thenonobese women were not remarkable,just as there was little differencein the rates of asthma deterioration.Obese women, however, were 30%more likely to experience asthma exacerbations,according to the study. Researchersconclude that further studyis needed to determine the effectsexcess weight has on asthma duringpregnancy.
Ms. Farley is a freelance medicalwriter based in Wakefield, RI.