Ann Rheum Dis doi:10.1136/ard.2008.105262

Increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes in women with Rheumatoid Arthritis: a nationwide population-based study

  1. Herng-Ching Lin (henry11111{at}
  1. Taipei Medical University, Taiwan
    1. Shu-Fen Chen
    1. Taipei Medical University, Taiwan
      1. Hsiu-Chen Lin
      1. Division of Rheumatology, Taipei Medical University Hospital, Taiwan, Province of China
        1. Yi-Hua Chen
        1. Taipei Medical University, Taiwan
          • Published Online First 29 April 2009


          Objective: Using a three-year nationwide population-based database (2001-2003), this study aims to examine the relationship between rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and adverse pregnancy outcomes, after adjusting for characteristics of infant, mother and father.

          Methods: The study used the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Dataset and birth certificate registry. In total, 1,912 mothers with RA and 9,560 matched comparison mothers were included for analysis. Separate conditional logistic regression analyses were carried out to explore the risk of low birthweight (LBW), preterm births, small for gestational age (SGA) infants, preeclampsia, and delivery mode (vaginal vs. cesarean section (CS)) for the study and comparison groups, after adjusting for potential confounders.

          Results: Regression analyses showed that the adjusted odds of LBW, SGA infants, preeclampsia, and CS for women with RA were 1.47 (95% CI=1.22-1.78), 1.20 (95% CI=1.05-1.38), 2.22 (95% CI=1.59-3.11), and 1.19 (95% CI=1.07-1.31) times, respectively, that of comparison mothers.

          Conclusion: After adjusting for potential confounding factors, women with RA had increased risk of LBW, SGA babies, preeclampsia, and CS, compared with unaffected women. Our findings suggest a need for active monitoring and early intervention to counter the increased risk of adverse obstetric outcomes for pregnant women with RA.