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Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2011; 34: 724–734
Background Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) frequently affects women during their reproductive years. Pregnancy outcome in women with IBD is well described, particularly in retrospective studies.
Aim To evaluate the pregnancy outcome in patients with IBD in a prospective European multicentre case-control study.
Methods Inflammatory bowel disease pregnant women from 12 European countries were enrolled between January 2003 and December 2006 and matched (1:1) to non-IBD pregnant controls by age at conception and number of previous pregnancies. Data on pregnancy and newborn outcome, disease activity and therapy were prospectively collected every third month using a standard questionnaire. Logistic regression analysis with odds ratio was used for statistical analyses. P value < 0.05 was considered significant.
Results A total of 332 pregnant women with IBD were included: 145 with Crohn’s disease (CD) and 187 with ulcerative colitis (UC). Median age (range) at conception was 31 years (15–40) in CD and 31 (19–42) in UC patients. No statistically significant differences in frequency of abortions, preterm deliveries, caesarean sections, congenital abnormalities and birth weight were observed comparing CD and UC women with their non-IBD controls. In CD, older age was associated with congenital abnormalities and preterm delivery; smoking increased the risk of preterm delivery. For UC, older age and active disease were associated with low birth weight; while older age and combination therapy were risk factors for preterm delivery.
Conclusion In this prospective case-control study, women with either Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis have a similar pregnancy outcome when compared with a population of non-inflammatory bowel disease pregnant women.