Pregnancy outcome in inflammatory bowel disease: prospective European case-control ECCO-EpiCom study, 2003-2006

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2011 Oct;34(7):724-34. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2011.04794.x. Epub 2011 Aug 4.


Background: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) frequently affects women during their reproductive years. Pregnancy outcome in women with IBD is well described, particularly in retrospective studies.

Aim: To evaluate the pregnancy outcome in patients with IBD in a prospective European multicentre case-control study.

Methods: Inflammatory bowel disease pregnant women from 12 European countries were enrolled between January 2003 and December 2006 and matched (1:1) to non-IBD pregnant controls by age at conception and number of previous pregnancies. Data on pregnancy and newborn outcome, disease activity and therapy were prospectively collected every third month using a standard questionnaire. Logistic regression analysis with odds ratio was used for statistical analyses. P value<0.05 was considered significant.

Results: A total of 332 pregnant women with IBD were included: 145 with Crohn's disease (CD) and 187 with ulcerative colitis (UC). Median age (range) at conception was 31 years (15-40) in CD and 31 (19-42) in UC patients. No statistically significant differences in frequency of abortions, preterm deliveries, caesarean sections, congenital abnormalities and birth weight were observed comparing CD and UC women with their non-IBD controls. In CD, older age was associated with congenital abnormalities and preterm delivery; smoking increased the risk of preterm delivery. For UC, older age and active disease were associated with low birth weight; while older age and combination therapy were risk factors for preterm delivery.

Conclusion: In this prospective case-control study, women with either Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis have a similar pregnancy outcome when compared with a population of non-inflammatory bowel disease pregnant women.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / complications*
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / epidemiology
  • Logistic Models
  • Middle Aged
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications*
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Young Adult