Mums with SLE at double the risk of premature or growth restricted babies

According to a 10-year nationwide audit of hospital admissions records in the US published in the open access journal RMD Open, mothers with the autoimmune disorder, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), are more than twice as likely to give birth to a premature or growth-restricted baby than those without the condition. They are also four times as likely to require a blood transfusion and 15 times as likely to develop kidney failure during delivery. While maternal and fetal deaths have decreased among women with SLE, severe illness rates remain unclear when compared to women without the condition. Researchers utilized data from the National Inpatient Sample for the period 2008 to 2017 and found that pregnant women with SLE were older, of African American race, more likely to receive Medicare, and had more co-existing conditions. They were more likely to have eclampsia, abnormal blood clotting, general medical issues, and cardiovascular and peripheral vascular disorders. During delivery, they were more likely to have acute renal failure, need a blood transfusion, or have cerebrovascular disorders. Their babies were more likely to be growth restricted or born premature. The researchers note that despite efforts, substantial risk for both maternal and fetal complications remains among mothers with SLE, and the study can help inform and counsel patients with the condition during pregnancy and planning.