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Acta Paediatr. 2002;91(2):145-51.

Inflammatory bowel disease in mother or father and neonatal outcome.

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Paediatric Department, Orebro Medical Centre Hospital, Sweden.


Even a minor decrease in birthweight predisposes to adult disease. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in the mother is a risk factor for low birthweight and preterm infants. This study investigated the effect of IBD in the mother or father, adjusting for confounders, on the newborn infant, with the focus on birthweight and pregnancy duration. A total of 10399 single-birth mother-infant pairs was prospectively enrolled within the ABIS project (All Babies In Southeast Sweden). Outcome measures included birth week, preterm birth (<37 wk), birthweight, low birthweight (<2500 g), birth length, caesarean section and neonatal hospital care. Ulcerative colitis (UC) in the mother was associated with lower birthweight in the infant (adjusted difference: -330 g, adjusted 95% confidence interval: -509 to -150 g, p < 0.001), and with even lower birthweight when the mother was treated with Mesalazine or steroids. No decrease in birthweight was seen in infants whose mother suffered from Crohn's disease (CD) (adjusted difference: -65 g, adjusted 95% confidence interval: -354 to 224 g, p > 0.05). Maternal UC or CD did not affect the pregnancy duration. The neonatal outcome of infants whose father suffered from UC and CD did not differ from the control group.


UC in the mother affects the birthweight of the infant, which may predispose to future disease in the infant. Most women and men with UC and CD can, however, expect a healthy child with neither preterm birth nor low birthweight.

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