Objective: To study the association between bronchial asthma during pregnancy and gestational age/birth weight, and also preterm birth and low birth weight.
Method: In the population-based large data set of the Hungarian Case-Control Surveillance System of Congenital Abnormalities, 1980-1996, controls without congenital abnormalities were analysed.
Results: Of 38,151 newborn infants, 757 (2.0%) had mothers with bronchial asthma during pregnancy, 88% were medically recorded prospectively. Mothers with bronchial asthma in pregnancy had 0.6 week shorter gestational age and a higher proportion of preterm births (14.1% vs. 9.1%). These findings were reflected with a lower mean birth weight (3,102 vs. 3,279 gram) and higher proportion of low birth weight newborns (9.0% vs. 5.6%).
Conclusion: The old fashioned anti-asthmatic drugs were not able to prevent the bronchial asthma-related preterm birth, thus there is an urgent need to use modern inhaled therapies.