ACR: Pregnant Women with Lupus at High Risk for Death

Maternal mortality 20 times higher in lupus moms

TUESDAY, Nov. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Pregnant women with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) are at increased risk for serious complications during pregnancy, which contributes to the fact that they have 20 times the risk of death as moms without lupus, according to new research presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology.

Megan Clowse, M.D., of Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., and colleagues examined the records of 17,262 women with SLE from a national database that contained records of all pregnancies resulting in hospital admissions between 2000 and 2002.

Women with lupus were more likely to have comorbid conditions associated with negative pregnancy outcomes, including renal failure, antiphospholipid syndrome, hypertension and diabetes. Maternal mortality was extrapolated to be 325 for every 100,000 births in SLE patients, compared to 14 per 100,000 births among women without SLE. Women with SLE were more likely to have sepsis and pneumonia, their risk of urinary tract infection was three times higher than that of lupus-free controls and they were more likely to have thrombocytopenia and anemia at delivery.

"Women with lupus are at higher risk for complications, including death, during pregnancy than healthy women. However, women with lupus are already at higher risk for these complications. Based on this study, we cannot determine if these risks increase during pregnancy," Clowse noted in a statement.


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