Pregnancy in sickle cell disease

D R Powars, M Sandhu, J Niland-Weiss, C Johnson, S Bruce, P R Manning
Obstetrics and Gynecology 1986, 67 (2): 217-28
Risks associated with pregnancy for mothers with sickle cell disease and their infants have decreased markedly during the last decade. Among 79 women with sickle cell anemia (156 pregnancies), maternal death decreased from 4.1% before 1972 to 1.7% after 1972; their infants' fetal and perinatal death rates decreased from 52.7 to 22.7% (P less than .05), and from 33.3 to 27.3% among infants of women with sickle hemoglobin C disease. There has been a significant improvement in birth weight specific mortality and an increase in number of weeks' gestation from 34.7 to 37.4 (P less than .05). A higher percentage of sickle hemoglobin C disease mothers completed their pregnancies with no complications (43%) when compared with sickle cell anemia mothers (21%), thus identifying a subset of women for whom pregnancy does not represent an increased risk. These results are attributed to improvements in state-of-the-art medical, obstetric, and perinatal care.

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