THURSDAY, Aug. 11, 2011 (HealthDay News) -- Pregnant women with poorly controlled asthma are at increased risk for pregnancy complications and for having a low-birth weight or premature baby, a new study warns.
Researchers reviewed data from 1975 to 2009 on more than 1 million pregnant women. Pregnant women with poorly controlled asthma were 50 percent more likely to develop preeclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy) and 25 percent more likely to have a premature baby.
Infants born to mothers with asthma weighed an average of 0.2 lbs. less at birth than those born to mothers without asthma.
The study was published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
"The findings are significant and call for women with asthma to be more closely monitored during pregnancy," study leader Dr. Christina Chambers, a professor of pediatrics at the University of California San Diego and program director of the non-profit California Teratogen Information Service (CTIS) Pregnancy Health Information Line, said in a CTIS news release.
"It would be advisable for women on regular medications for asthma or having frequent symptoms to be monitored at least monthly during the course of their pregnancies," she suggested.
The American Academy of Asthma, Allergy & Immunology provides an overview of asthma, allergies and pregnancy.