Pregnant woman sleepingDiseases marked by inflammation of the skin during pregnancy may have negative health impacts for women and their babies according to the findings of a new study.

The study of 13,598 Swedish women in their first pregnancy, all singleton pregnancies, found that pre-eclampsia, hypothyroid disease, stroke and infection were more common among women with lupus.

Of those in the study, 16% of pregnant women with lupus were diagnosed with pre-eclampsia compared with 5% from the general population. Among the women with subclinical lupus who later developed the condition after pregnancy, pre-eclampsia was found in 26% of women who developed lupus within 2 years post-partum and 13% for those who developed it 2 to 5 years post-partum.

Similarly, infant outcomes, such as preterm birth, infection, and mortality, were worse among those born to mothers with lupus and subclinical lupus during pregnancy.

Senior author of the Arthritis Care & Research article Dr. Julia Simard said: “Our findings suggest that immunologic activity, such as autoantibodies, contribute to these complications even in the absence of a clinical diagnosis of lupus.

“We are now trying to understand not only how this might impact the time to lupus diagnosis but also what we can learn about outcomes such as pre-eclampsia or preterm birth more generally.”

Read the study in full here