QOL in pregnant women with asthma affected by disease control, severity

A recent study examined asthma control and quality of life in pregnant women with asthma.

Between 8% and 13% of pregnant women have asthma, which can affect quality of life (QOL). A recently published study discussed whether asthma control and severity in pregnant women in Iran is related to quality of life.

The researchers used the Asthma Control Questionnaire and the Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire (AQLQ) and the Global Initiative for Asthma guidelines to assess asthma severity.

The prospective study of pregnant women with and without asthma was conducted from August 2014 to June 2015; The participants had attended a maternity hospital at the end of the first trimester of their pregnancy.

In patients with suspected asthma, the diagnosis was confirmed by spirometry by a pulmonologist. They were divided into 2 groups: intermittent asthma and mild persistent asthma (IMPA) or moderate and severe persistent asthma (MSPA).

The women visited the asthma specialist clinic several times during pregnancy, where they completed both the 5-item version of the Asthma Control Questionnaire (ACQ) and the 32-item Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire (AQLQ).

After each visit to an asthma specialist clinic or after a worsening of the symptoms, all patients had to carry out peak flow measurements for self-monitoring and record these for 2 weeks. Inhaled glucocorticoids and any other drug intake were recorded for each trimester during pregnancy.

Of 1603 pregnant women, 34 were diagnosed with asthma. By severity of 34:

  • 13 had intermittent asthma
  • 10 had mild
  • 8 had moderate asthma
  • 3 had severe persistent asthma

Overall, 11 (32%) women had MSPA while 23 (68%) had IMPA. Thirteen women (38%) had well-controlled asthma and 21 (62%) had partially/poorly controlled asthma.

Pregnant women with asthma were on average about 4 years older than women without asthma (P= 0.001) and therefore had more successful previous pregnancies (P= 0.017) and previous spontaneous abortion (P= 0.033).

No statistically significant differences were found for weight gain during pregnancy and gestational weeks at birth.

The results showed a significant decrease in QOL with poorer asthma control (P= 0.014). This decline may be due to activity limitations in patients with poorer asthma control, underscored by the significant decline in quality of life with increasing asthma severity (P= 0.024).

Most women had at least partially favorable QOL, and asthma control was significantly associated with asthma-related QoL.

Women with asthma that is not well controlled and a lower QOL may be due in part to poorer lung function limiting their physical activity

The researchers said the results “underscore the importance of controlling asthma during pregnancy not only in preventing adverse pregnancy outcomes but also in maintaining quality of life.”


Fazel, N., Kundi, M., Jensen-Jarolim, E. Quality of life and asthma control in pregnant women with asthma. BMC Pulm Med. Published online December 17, 2021. doi.org:10.1186/s12890-021-01797-9

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