HEADACHE WARNING: Asthma in pregnancy linked to THESE painful conditions

Approximately four per cent of pregnant women develop pre-eclampsia - a condition which causes swollen feet, hands and ankles, as well as severe headaches, rib pain and vision problems.

But, a study by researchers at Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet found the risk of developing pre-eclampsia is increased by 17% in women with asthma.

Asthmatic women were also more likely to give birth to underweight babies, and 24% more likely to have an emergency cesarean section, the researchers found.

The study’s lead author, Dr Gustaf Rejnö, said: “It seems to be the asthma per se that causes these complications.

“Four per cent of all pregnant women develop preeclampsia. We found that the risk of pre-eclampsia is 17 per cent higher in women with asthma compared to women without asthma.”

Almost 1.1million births were analysed to find the link between asthma and adverse pregnancy outcomes, including 700,000 women. The pregnancies were between 2001 and 2013 in Sweden.

Ten per cent of all babies were born to women with asthma.

The researchers also analysed whether the pregnancy complications had a hereditary, or environmental link. But, there was no genetic link, the scientists found.

Properly managing asthma could therefore reduce the number of pregnancy complications, the researchers claimed.

“This means that well-controlled asthma during pregnancy could reduce the relative incidence of complications during pregnancy and childbirth,” said Rejnö.

“In an earlier study we saw that this was indeed the case.”

The effect of pregnancy on asthmatic women is “unpredictable”, according to NHS Choices.

Asthma is a common lung condition, that causes difficulty breathing, wheezing and coughing.

It can also lead to persistent tiredness, mental health problems and lung infections. Puberty and growth can also be delayed in asthmatic children.

About 5.4m people in the UK are currently receiving asthma treatment, according to Asthma UK. 

The UK has one of the highest rates of asthma in Europe. About three people die from asthma each year.

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