13 November 2014
New research has found that women who suffer with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are 1.5 times more likely to give birth prematurely.
The collaborative study from teams in Denmark and the US was published in Arthritis & Rheumatology, a journal of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR). It also revealed that the body measurements of babies born having been exposed to maternal or preclinical RA were only slightly lower than those who had no connection to the disease.
Around one per cent of the world's population experience RA, but the research found that paternal RA was not found to impact fetal growth or preterm birth risk.
Led by Ane Rom, from Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark, the study used national registries to identify all children born in Denmark between 1977 and 2008. After excluding children from multiple births, and those who were adopted or could not be linked to the mother, the research had 1.9 million children.
It found that 13,566 children were exposed to maternal RA (diagnosed prior to giving birth) or preclinical RA (diagnosed after birth).
Posted by Philip Briggs
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