maternal asthmaResearchers from Hunter Medical Research Institute and the University of Newcastle recently published a study in the journal BJOG on the effect of maternal asthma on the neonate. The study addressed congenital malformations, hospitalization risk, and perinatal mortality.

Study authors pulled data from electronic databases. Data was collected from 1975 to 2012. To be included in the report, the study must have reported at least one side effect of maternal asthma on the neonate.

Researchers located 21 studies that fit the inclusion criteria. Asthmatic and non-asthmatic pregnant women were included as active and control groups, respectively.

Conclusion: Maternal asthma increased the risk of congenital malformations including cleft lip and/or cleft palate. Neonatal hospitalization and death rates also increased. Researchers found no connection between maternal asthma and stillbirth or major congenital malformations.

Source: Murphy V, Wang G, Namazy J, Powell H, Gibson P, Chambers C, Schatz M. The risk of congenital malformations, perinatal mortality and neonatal hospitalization among pregnant women with asthma: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BJOG. 2013 Mar 26. doi: 10.1111/1471-0528.12224.