Background & aims: Studies of maternal celiac disease (CD) and fetal outcome are inconsistent, and low statistical power is likely to have contributed to this inconsistency. We investigated the risk of adverse outcomes in women with CD diagnosed prior to pregnancy and in women who did not receive a diagnosis of CD until after the delivery.
Methods: A national register-based cohort study restricted to women aged 15-44 years with singleton live born infants was used. We identified 2078 offspring to women who had received a diagnosis of CD (1964-2001): 1149 offspring to women diagnosed prior to birth and 929 offspring to women diagnosed after infant birth. Main outcome measures were: intrauterine growth retardation, low birth weight (<2500 g), very low birth weight (<1500 g), preterm birth (<37 gestational weeks), very preterm birth (<30 gestational weeks), and caesarean section.
Results: Undiagnosed CD was associated with an increased risk of intrauterine growth retardation (OR = 1.62; 95% CI: 1.22-2.15), low birth weight (OR = 2.13; 95% CI: 1.66-2.75), very low birth weight (OR = 2.45; 95% CI: 1.35-4.43), preterm birth (OR = 1.71; 95% CI: 1.35-2.17), and caesarean section (OR = 1.82; 95% CI: 1.27-2.60). In contrast, a diagnosis of CD made before the birth was not associated with these adverse fetal outcomes.
Conclusions: Undiagnosed maternal CD is a risk factor for unfavorable fetal outcomes, but the risks are reduced when CD has been diagnosed. CD diagnosed prior to pregnancy does not constitute a great a risk as undiagnosed CD.