Asthma, Maternal outcomes, Pregnancy complications, Race



  1. MacMullen, Nancy J. PhD, APN/CNS
  2. Tymkow, Catherine ND, APN/WHNPC
  3. Shen, Jay J. PhD


Purpose: To examine the relationship between race and adverse maternal outcomes in women with asthma.


Study Design and Methods: This retrospective cohort study examined 11 adverse maternal outcomes across racial groups of 13,900 pregnant women with asthma (age 13 to >= 40) who gave birth between 1998 and 1999. The data were abstracted from a national database, The National Inpatient Sample (NIS), available through Health Care and Utilization Project (HCUP) maintained and disseminated by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Maternal age and comorbidities were adjusted in multivariate analysis.


Results: For women with asthma, African Americans were more likely than Whites to have preterm labor and infection of the amniotic cavity; Hispanic women had comparable outcomes with the exception that postdate pregnancy was less likely to be 42 weeks; and Asian/Pacific Islander women had a higher risk of having gestational diabetes and infection of the amniotic cavity.


Clinical Implications: As adverse maternal outcomes for women with asthma were higher in minorities, and as minorities have traditionally had more barriers to healthcare, the study results indicate that more effort needs to be made to educate nurses, consumers, and government officials about the potential adverse maternal outcomes of asthma during pregnancy. Public awareness may assist in overcoming the barriers to healthcare experienced by minorities.