Objective: To compare pregnancy outcome in asthmatic and non-asthmatic patients from high altitudes.
Method: A prospective case-control study over a 4-year period. The setting was: Abha Maternity Hospital, south-west region of Saudi Arabia. Eighty-eight asthmatic pregnant patients were followed up on during their pregnancies and deliveries (cases). The control subjects were 106 non-asthmatic patients who delivered during the same period.
Results: There were no statistically significant differences in the mean age, parity and gestation at delivery between the cases and control subjects (P>0.05), while there were statistically significant differences in the mean birth weight, placental weight and number of abortions between the two groups (P<0.05). Antenatal complications occurred in 12.5% of the asthmatic patients and 1.9% of the control subjects. Pre-eclampsia was diagnosed in 7.9% of the asthmatic group but in none of the control subjects. Induction of labor, cesarean section rate, perinatal mortality, congenital malformations and Apgar score <7 at 5 min were significantly higher in the asthmatic patients.
Conclusion: Asthma occurring in pregnancy was associated with increased antenatal complications, increased perinatal loss and congenital malformations in our study population.