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In utero exposure to maternal RA predisposes children to select chronic diseases

06 Feb 2018

Infants with in utero exposure to maternal rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are at an increased risk of developing thyroid disease, epilepsy and RA in childhood and adolescence, a study from Denmark suggests.

The study drew data from Danish health registries and included all children born alive from 1989‒2013, among whom 2,106 were born by women with RA (exposed) and 1,378,539 were born by women without RA (unexposed).

Cox proportional hazard regression analysis showed that the exposed group had an elevated risk of developing RA (hazard ratio [HR], 2.89; 95 percent CI, 2.06–4.05), thyroid diseases (HR, 2.19; 1.14–4.21) and epilepsy (HR, 1.61; 1.16–2.25) compared with the unexposed group. The HRs for anxiety, personality disorders and chronic lung diseases, including asthma, were in the range of 1.15–1.16, although they were not statistically significant.

“Our results call for special attention on child development of RA, thyroid disease and epilepsy if exposed to RA in utero,” researchers said. “These … should encourage paediatricians and general practitioners to an increased awareness of certain chronic diseases in children being exposed to RA in utero.”

Although the study was not able to determine the biologic mechanisms (ie, the role or contribution of genetic factors and factors related to the intrauterine environment) underlying the association of in utero exposure with maternal RA and risk of specific chronic diseases, researchers speculated that genetic factors might explain the excess morbidity when it comes to RA in the offspring.

“However, the results might also partly be due to factors related to an impact of maternal RA itself on the foetal environment, for instance, an impact due to disease activity or medical treatment,” they said.

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Most Read Articles
18 Aug 2018
Despite the absence of a substance use problem, regular cannabis use is associated with psychosocial impairment among adolescents and young adults, a study suggests. On the other hand, regular users with cannabis use disorder appear to exhibit high psychiatric comorbidity and more severe psychosocial impairment.
07 Sep 2018
Children with Down syndrome appear to have an elevated risk of developing severe respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection, a study has found.
21 Mar 2018
During the Kuala Lumpur International Neonatology Conference held in conjunction with the World Prematurity Day 2017, Dato Dr Musa Mohd Nordin spoke on the importance of immunizing children with the diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis-inactivated poliovirus-Haemophilus influenzae type b (DTaP-IPV-Hib) vaccine. He highlighted the role of Hexaxim® as a fully liquid, ready-to-use, 6-in-1 (including hepatitis B) vaccine for the primary and booster vaccinations of infants and toddlers. Meanwhile, Dr Yong Junina Fadzil discussed the benefits of quadrivalent influenza vaccines (QIVs) in providing children with broader protection against influenza B viruses.
Jairia Dela Cruz, 01 Sep 2018
Tight glycaemic control does not yield significant short-term survival gains and risk reductions for infections when compared with a conventional glucose-lowering strategy in critically ill patients in the paediatric intensive care unit, according to a meta-analysis.