Objective: We aimed to examine birthweight, low birthweight (<2500 g), and intrauterine growth retardation in offspring of women with celiac disease in relation to their first hospitalization for the disease.
Methods: This was a historical cohort study based on The Danish Medical Birth Registry data of celiac women discharged from Danish hospitals from 1977-1992. The study included 211 newborns to 127 mothers with celiac disease, and 1260 control deliveries.
Results: Before celiac women were first hospitalized the mean birthweight of their newborns was 238 g (95% confidence interval [95% CI] = 150, 325 g) lower than that of the control women, after adjustment for potential confounders. After the first hospitalization the mean birthweight for newborns of diseased women was higher than that of controls, by 67 g (95% CI = -88, 223 g) after adjustment for potential confounders. Before celiac women were first hospitalized we found an increased risk of low birthweight (odds ratio [OR] = 2.6, 95% CI = 1.3-5.5) and intrauterine growth retardation (OR = 3.4, 95% CI = 1.6-7.2). After celiac women were first hospitalized we found no increased risk of low birthweight and no babies with intrauterine growth retardation.
Conclusions: Offspring of mothers with celiac disease had lower birthweight than expected and more than a three-fold higher risk of intrauterine growth retardation when birth occurred before the first hospitalization for the disease. After the mother's first hospitalization the birthweight was similar to controls and no increased risk of low birthweight was seen. Our study indicates that treatment of celiac women is important in the prevention of fetal growth retardation.