Tumour necrosis factor inhibitor use during pregnancy is associated with increased birth weight of rheumatoid arthritis patients' offspring

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Abstract

Objectives To study pregnancy outcomes in a closely monitored, well-defined cohort of women with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In particular, pregnancy outcomes of women that used a TNFi during pregnancy. Methods Patients were derived from a prospective study on pregnancy and RA (Preconception Counseling in Active RA study) and treated according to a treatment protocol aimed at minimal disease activity. Multivariate linear regression analysis was used to describe which variables influenced birth weight. Results 188 patients were included, 92 (48.9%) patients with RA used a TNFi during pregnancy. Disease Activity Score in 28 joints C reactive protein (DAS28CRP) was low at all time points during pregnancy (DAS28CRP in the third trimester: 2.17 (SD 0.73). TNFi use was not associated with an increase of adverse pregnancy outcomes such as low birth weight (<2500 g), (emergency) caesarian section, hypertensive disorders or congenital malformations. TNFi use resulted in less children born small-for-gestational age (p=0.05), however, did not increase the risk of large-for-gestational age (p=0.73). Mean birth weight was 173 g higher in women that used a TNFi during pregnancy (3.344 kg vs 3.171 kg, p=0.03). In the multivariate analysis, maternal age (β -0.023, 95% CI -0.040 to -0.0065, p=0.007), TNFi use (β 0.20, 95% CI 0.066, 0.34, p=0.004), diabetes mellitus (β 0.37, 95% CI 0.12, 0.63, p=0.004) and gestational age (β 0.18, 95% CI 0.15, 0.2, p<0.001) were statistically significant associated with birth weight. Conclusions This is the first study to show that TNFi use during pregnancy is associated with increased birth weight of offspring of women with well-controlled RA. The underlying mechanism of TNF-inhibition on birth weight and the long-term consequences for the offspring should be explored in future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1367-1373
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of the Rheumatic Diseases
Volume81
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Sep 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Dutch Arthritis Foundation (ReumaNederland) (project number: LLP-26), a non-profit organisation. The PreCARA study is an Investigator Initiated Study and was financially supported by UCB.

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