Women with Lupus Nephritis at Higher Risk of Pregnancy Complications
New study findings show women with lupus nephritis (LN, lupus-related kidney disease) – especially those with active LN – are at significantly increased risk of pregnancy complications compared to women with lupus without LN. Adverse pregnancy outcomes included fetal loss (miscarriage or stillbirth), preterm birth (childbirth that occurs before 37 weeks of pregnancy) and preeclampsia (a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure and organ system damage).
Researchers assessed data from 393 women with lupus in the United States and Canada, 37% of whom had a history of LN. Those with a history of LN had almost twice the odds of poor pregnancy outcomes compared to women without LN.
However, those with active LN were significantly more likely to experience pregnancy complications than those with inactive LN. Women with active LN had six times the odds of fetal loss and three times the odds of poor pregnancy outcomes compared to women without a history of LN.
Additionally, Black women were more likely than white women to have a history of LN. Preterm birth, preeclampsia, and poor pregnancy outcomes, though not fetal loss, were more common among Black than White women.
The results emphasize the importance of carefully managing lupus and LN symptoms, especially among women of childbearing age, and addressing racial health disparities within the lupus community. Learn more about lupus and pregnancy.