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Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol. 2012 Apr;52(2):183-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1479-828X.2011.01385.x. Epub 2011 Dec 6.

Management of asthma by pregnant women attending an Australian maternity hospital.

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1
Centre for Medicine Use and Safety, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Monash University, Royal Parade, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.

Abstract

AIMS:

The safety of preventive asthma medicines during pregnancy has already been established. The aim of this study was to assess asthma management by women during pregnancy.

METHODS:

Pregnant women attending the out-patient clinics of an Australian maternity hospital completed a questionnaire about their asthma medication use and symptoms. Parameters associated with changes in asthma medicine use are presented as odds ratio with a 95% confidence level. P-values <0.05 indicated statistical significance.

RESULTS:

Participants (n = 102) self-reported worsening of their asthma symptoms during pregnancy compared with the pre-pregnancy period, both during the day (P = 0.003) and night (P = 0.044). The number of participants whose asthma was treated by a medical professional decreased from 81 (79.4%) before pregnancy to 67 (65.7%) during pregnancy (P = 0.008). The use of regular asthma medicines (preventers and symptom controllers alone or in combination) decreased during pregnancy (P < 0.001 and P = 0.012, respectively), while the use of intermittent therapies (relievers) increased (P = 0.004) during pregnancy. Being treated by a medical professional during pregnancy (P = 0.033), a history of asthma medicine use before pregnancy (P = 0.015) and younger age of first asthma diagnosis (P = 0.046) were associated with the use of asthma medicines during pregnancy.

CONCLUSIONS:

Despite worsening of asthma symptoms, many pregnant women do not take regular preventive asthma medicines. Ongoing assessment of asthma control during pregnancy, medication review and adjustments in therapy by health professionals might facilitate asthma management.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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