Good News For Asthma Sufferers
In the largest sample to date examining the potential effects that inhaled steroids may have on intrauterine growth, a research team led by Michael Schatz, MD, from Kaiser-Permanente Medical Center, San Diego, enrolled 474 women in the study, working with 99 allergist/immunologists from 35 states representing all regions of the country. The study assessed the safety of inhaled steroids in 396 pregnant women with asthma who completed the assessment.
Researchers found no significant relationship between specific inhaled steroid use and the incidence of infants who were small for gestational age. They also found no relationship between inhaled steroid use and the infants mean birth weight.
Asthma treatment guidelines emphasize the importance of maintaining asthma control during pregnancy because the risks of uncontrolled asthma are far greater than the risks associated with taking necessary asthma medications. Inhaled corticosteroids are the preferred treatment for all patients with persistent asthma, according to the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP) treatment guidelines.
The study's findings offer reassuring data that inhaled corticosteroid therapy is a safe and effective way to manage persistent asthma during pregnancy. Recent reports suggest that 7 of every 100 pregnant women have asthma during their pregnancy.