Objective: To determine whether asthma-specific quality of life during pregnancy is related to asthma exacerbations and to perinatal outcomes.
Methods: This was a secondary analysis of data from a randomized controlled trial of inhaled beclomethasone versus theophylline in the treatment of moderate asthma during pregnancy. The Juniper Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire (AQLQ) was administered to patients at enrollment. Exacerbations were defined as asthma symptoms requiring a hospitalization, unscheduled medical visit, or oral corticosteroid course.
Results: Quality of life assessments were provided by 310 of the 385 participants who completed the study. There was more than a 25% decrease in the odds of a subsequent asthma exacerbation for every 1-point increase in AQLQ score for the overall score (odds ratio [OR] 0.73, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.55-0.96), emotion domain (OR 0.72, 95% CI 0.59-0.88), and symptoms domain (OR 0.73, 95% CI 0.57-0.94). These relationships were not significantly influenced by initial symptom frequency or forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV(1)). No significant relationships were demonstrated between enrollment AQLQ scores and preeclampsia, preterm birth, low birth weight, or small for gestational age.
Conclusion: Asthma-specific quality of life in early pregnancy is related to subsequent asthma morbidity during pregnancy but not to perinatal outcomes.