Objective: To assess the effect of pregnancy on pulmonary function and survival in women with cystic fibrosis (CF) and to assess the fetal outcome.
Design: Cohort study. The data analyzed were collected from the Toronto CF database, chart review, and patient questionnaire.
Setting: Tertiary-care center.
Patients: All women with CF who, at the time of diagnosis or pregnancy, attended the Toronto Cystic Fibrosis Clinics between 1961 and 1998.
Results: From 1963 to 1998, there were 92 pregnancies in 54 women. There were 11 miscarriages and 7 therapeutic abortions. Forty-nine women gave birth to 74 children. The mean follow-up time was 11 +/- 8 years. One patient was lost to follow-up shortly after delivery, and one was lost after 12 years. The overall mortality rate was 19% (9 of 48 patients). Absence of Burkholderia cepacia (p < 0.001), pancreatic sufficiency (p = 0.01), and prepregnancy FEV(1) > 50% predicted (p = 0.03) were associated with better survival rates. When adjusted for the same parameters, pregnancy did not affect survival compared to the entire adult female CF population. The decline in FEV(1) was comparable to that in the total CF population. Three women had diabetes mellitus, and seven developed gestational diabetes. There were six preterm infants and one neonatal death. CF was diagnosed in two children.
Conclusions: The maternal and fetal outcome is good for most women with CF. Risk factors for mortality are similar to those for the nonpregnant CF population. Pregnancies should be planned so that there is opportunity for counseling and optimization of the medical condition. Good communication between the CF team and the obstetrician is important.