Sunday, May 11, 2008

Asthma drugs help to prevent birth defects

From the Globe and Mail:
Women who have an asthma attack during the first three months of pregnancy put their babies at a greater risk of birth defects than asthmatic mothers who did not have a flare-up during that period, a new Canadian study shows.

The research, published in next month's issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, found that women who had uncontrolled asthma during this crucial period in fetal development were 48 per cent more likely to have a baby with at least one birth defect compared with those who were taking their medication.

"I hope it will encourage women to continue their treatment during pregnancy. This gives some evidence that stopping your treatment and then being more at risk of having an asthma attack puts your baby at risk of having a congenital malformation," Lucie Blais, an associate professor in pharmacy at the University of Montreal and lead author of the study, said in an interview yesterday. ...more

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