vasculitis and pregnancyA study was recently published in the journal Arthritis Care & Research from the American College of Rheumatology. The study claims women diagnosed with vasculitis are more likely to have complicated pregnancies. Vasculitis does not appear to affect male fertility or health of the conceived offspring.

Data was collected via a secure, anonymous online survey. Three hundred fifty women and 113 men filled out the survey. About 75 pregnancies were reported in women after vasculitis was diagnosed. Women with vasculitis reported more preterm births and a higher rate of pregnancy loss. Symptoms of vasculitis during pregnancy did not change for most of the women (18% reported worsened symptoms).

Conclusion: Vasculitis appears to be associated with pregnancy complications – pregnancy loss and preterm delivery. Pregnancies conceived with men diagnosed with vasculitis were not affected by the condition. Researchers did not theorize on potential treatments to counteract the increased risk, but women treated with prednisone and/or cyclophosphamide did not report any additional side effects.

Source: Clowse ME, Richeson RL, Pieper C, Merkel PA; for the Vasculitis Clinical Research Consortium. Pregnancy in women and men with vasculitis. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2013 Feb 11. doi: 10.1002/acr.21983.