Objective: To examine factors prior to pregnancy in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) that are prognostic for the occurrence of active disease during and shortly after pregnancy.
Methods: Case-control study of pregnant SLE patients and nonpregnant SLE controls, using logistic regression analyses to assess the role of prepregnancy disease activity as a prognostic factor for flare during pregnancy or the postpartum followup period.
Results: Lupus flares occurred frequently and in similar percentages of pregnant SLE patients and control SLE patients. Active lupus at study entry, both in control and in pregnant patients, was not predictive of flare. Inactive lupus at onset was not protective against flare in controls but was protective in pregnant lupus patients.
Conclusion: Inactive disease at the onset of pregnancy in SLE provides optimum protection against the occurrence of flare during pregnancy.