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Epidemiology. 1998 Nov;9(6):601-4.

Increased incidence of Guillain-Barré syndrome postpartum.

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Division of Neurology, Karolinska Institute, Huddinge University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.


We studied the relation between pregnancy and Guillain-Barré syndrome in the Swedish female population ages 15-49 years during the period 1978-1993. Person-based information from the national Hospital In-patient Registry on patients discharged with a diagnosis of Guillain-Barré syndrome was linked to data on pregnancy and delivery from the Swedish Medical Birth Registry. We validated coded Guillain-Barré syndrome diagnoses and the time periods of clinical onset for patients hospitalized with Guillain-Barré syndrome during pregnancy or during the first 90-day postpartum period. We compared the incidence of Guillain-Barré syndrome in women in different exposure categories related to pregnancy with that in women neither pregnant nor in the 90-day postpartum period. Poisson regression analysis yielded age-adjusted rate ratios of 0.89 [95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.52-1.53] for pregnant women, 1.37 (95% CI = 0.64-2.91) for women during the first 90 days, and 2.93 (95% CI = 1.20-7.11) during the first 30 days after delivery. Our results indicate that the risk of Guillain-Barré syndrome increases after delivery, particularly during the first 2 weeks postpartum.

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