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Unchecked Asthma Linked To Premature Births

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Aired 8/10/11

New research reveals a link between under-controlled asthma and pre-term births. Asthma is one of the most common chronic conditions affecting pregnant women.

— A new study finds some pregnant women with asthma are experiencing complications. Researchers say unchecked asthma is linked to premature births.

Researchers reviewed more than one million pregnancies between 1975 and 2009. They found women with poorly-managed asthma were at higher risk of both pre-term birth and preeclampsia, a condition marked by high-blood pressure.

UCSD professor of pediatrics Tina Chambers co-wrote the study. She said it's not clear why there's an increased risk. But one thing's for sure.

"The optimum situation for the woman during pregnancy with asthma," Dr. Chambers suggested, "is to deal effectively with keeping her asthma symptoms under control. And the best management of her asthma is the best thing for the baby."

Between 8 and 15 percent of pregnant women have asthma. Dr. Chambers says asthma is one of the most common chronic ailments during pregnancy.

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