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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2007 Mar;119(3):576-82. Epub 2006 Dec 12.

Use of short-acting beta2-agonists during pregnancy and the risk of pregnancy-induced hypertension.

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Université de Montréal, C.P. 6128, Succursale Centre-ville, Montréal, Québec H3C 3J7, Canada.



The effect of inhaled short-acting beta(2)-agonists (SABAs) on pregnancy outcome, especially hypertensive complications, is not well documented. After the finding of a possible protective association of inhaled SABAs with pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH) in a previous study, we decided to further investigate their effect on this condition.


We sought to determine the effect of inhaled SABA use during pregnancy on the risk of PIH (gestational hypertension, preeclampsia, or eclampsia) in asthmatic women.


Three of Quebec's administrative databases were linked to constitute a cohort of asthmatic women who had at least 1 delivery between 1990 and 2000. A nested case-control study was performed using up to 10 control subjects matched to each case patient for the year of conception and gestational age. Statistical analyses considered 22 confounders.


The cohort was composed of 3505 asthmatic women who had a total of 4593 pregnancies. Three hundred two patients with PIH and 3013 control subjects were identified. Compared with nonuse, inhaled SABA use during pregnancy was significantly associated with a reduced risk of PIH (adjusted rate ratios: >0-3 doses/week, 0.62 (95% CI, 0.44-0.87); > 3-10 doses/week, 0.51 (95% CI, 0.34-0.79); and >10 doses/week, 0.48 (95% CI, 0.30-0.75)).


To our knowledge, this is the first study reporting that inhaled SABA use during pregnancy is associated with a reduced risk of PIH. Potential explanations include pharmacologic and physiological effects or residual confounding.


These results increase the evidence about the safety of inhaled SABAs in this population, although they should not undervalue the importance of maintaining good control of asthma symptoms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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