African American Women with Lupus at Risk of Pregnancy Complications, Even Before Diagnosis
New research shows that African Americans with lupus are more likely to deliver preterm or small-for-gestational age infants compared to healthy African American women. Additionally, African American women are even at an increased risk for these pregnancy complications in the years shortly leading up to their lupus diagnosis.
Researchers identified African American women with lupus in the Georgia Lupus Registry and the Georgians Organized Against Lupus Cohort who were linked to 583 birth certificates. Overall, more than one in four births (28.5%) were preterm among the women with lupus compared to women without lupus, and risk was increased for women up to three years before their clinical lupus diagnosis.
Risk for preterm birth also increased over time. About 16% of women delivered preterm infants more than three years before their lupus diagnosis, while 43% of women had preterm births more than three years after diagnosis. On the other hand, risk for delivering a small-for-gestational age baby was highest for women who were recently diagnosed (within three years of lupus diagnosis).
Though research has shown women with lupus are more likely to experience pregnancy complications, having a healthy pregnancy is possible. The Lupus Foundation of America is proud to fund research to improve pregnancy outcomes in people with lupus, you can find out more here and also learn more about lupus and pregnancy.
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