Do improvements in clinical practice guidelines alter pregnancy outcomes in asthmatic women? A single-center retrospective cohort study

John L. Robinson, K. L. Gatford, Cameron P Hurst, Vicki L Clifton, Janna L Morrison, Michael J Stark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Asthma occurs in ∼17% of Australian pregnancies and is associated with adverse perinatal outcomes, which worsen with poor asthma control. Consequently, the South Australian ‘Asthma in Pregnancy’ perinatal guidelines were revised in 2012 to address management according to severity. This study investigated if these revised guidelines reduced the impact of maternal asthma on risks of adverse perinatal outcomes before (Epoch 1, 2006–2011) and after the revision (Epoch 2, 2013–2018). Methods: Routinely collected perinatal and neonatal datasets from the Women’s and Children’s Hospital (Adelaide, Australia) were linked. Maternal asthma (prevalence:7.5%) was defined as asthma medication use or symptoms described to midwives. In imputation (n = 59131) and complete case datasets (n = 49594), analyses were conducted by inverse proportional weighting and multivariate logistic regression, accounting for confounders. Results: Overall, maternal asthma was associated with increased risks of any antenatal corticosteroid treatment for threatened preterm birth (aOR 1.319, 95% CI 1.078–1.614), any Cesarean section (aOR 1.196, 95% CI 1.059–1.351), Cesarean section without labor (aOR 1.241, 95% CI 1.067–1.444), intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR, aOR 1.285, 95% CI 1.026–1.61), and small for gestational age (aOR 1.324, 95% CI 1.136–1.542). After guideline revision, asthma-associated risks of any Cesarean section (p < 0.001), any antenatal corticosteroids (p = 0.041), and small for gestational age (p = 0.050), but not IUGR and Cesarean section without labor, were reduced. Conclusions: Clinical practice guidelines based on the latest evidence do not guarantee clinical efficacy. Since adverse perinatal outcomes did not all improve, this work highlights the need to evaluate the ongoing impact of guidelines on clinical outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1907-1917
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Asthma
Volume60
Issue number10
Early online date2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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