Meharry/Vanderbilt Asthma Disparities Center

Asthma Morbidity in Pregnancy

Maternal Asthma and Racial Differences in Asthma-specific, Maternal, Perinatal and Infant Outcomes

Principal Investigator:  Dr. Tina Hartert

                                  Dr. Darryl Jordan

                                  Dr. Marie Griffin

                                  Dr. William Cooper

                                  Dr. Ayumi Shintani


Prior studies have found an increased incidence of adverse maternal and perinatal outcomes among women with asthma.  Additionally, both women with asthma and low-income minority populations with asthma are known to suffer greater morbidity compared with men and non-minority populations, respectively.   African Americans have an increased incidence of hospitalization and mortality compared with whites, and women with asthma report significantly lower quality of life than men and have 2-3 times the rate of hospitalization. However, the epidemiology of maternal and perinatal outcomes among minority pregnant women with asthma is not known.  Population-based studies have revealed adverse maternal and perinatal outcomes among women with asthma, however, these populations are largely white or non-low-income, and racial differences have never been evaluated.  The aims of this study are to define the asthma-specific, maternal, perinatal and infant morbidity and mortality among pregnant women with asthma of black, white and Hispanic race/ethnicity, and to identify risk factors for adverse outcomes that could be targets for intervention programs.  We will examine the relationship between infant and maternal outcomes and asthma complicating pregnancy, using historical cohort analysis of singleton deliveries among women enrolled in the Tennessee Medicaid Program (TennCare).   This is a group which is of particular interest, as the greatest asthma-associated morbidity has been shown to be among low-income and minority populations.  Our current work has revealed the increased burden of respiratory hospitalizations during pregnancy among pregnant women with asthma and the significant increase in frequency of asthma admissions with advancing stage of pregnancy.  Studies such as those proposed in this application are fundamental to advance our understanding of disparities in asthma outcomes and the risk factors underlying these disparities.

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