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Asthma Can Prolong a Woman’s Conception Time

Update Date: Nov 14, 2013 06:46 PM EST

Even though some health conditions might arise independently, the majority of health issues tend to be tied to other health conditions. For example, people who are obese tend to have a greater risk of developing diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. In a new study, researchers decided to focus on asthma and how this particular health condition might affect fertility. The research team from Bispebjerg University Hospital located in Denmark reported that asthmatic women tend to wait a longer time before getting pregnant but end up with the same average number of children when compared to non-asthmatic women

"Our results shed light on the complex interactions between fertility and asthma. Although we observed women with asthma experiencing longer waiting times to pregnancy, our findings suggest that if women take their medication and control their asthma, they can reduce this delay," the lead author of the study, Dr. Elisabeth Juul Gade said.

For this study, the researchers examined survey answers from a cohort that involved over 15,000 Danish women. The participants of the study were twins aged 41 and younger. The surveys included questions about fertility, such as how long they have been trying to get pregnant, and asthma. The women were separated into two main groups, which were asthmatic and non-asthmatic. The asthmatic group was then separated into treated or untreated. There were a total of 955 women with a history of asthma.

The team calculated that 21.6 percent of the non-asthmatic women had a prolonged time of getting pregnant while 27 percent of asthmatic women had the same issue. When it came to untreated asthma individuals, the researchers found that their risk of a delay in conception was increased by 30.5 percent. This percentage fell to 23.8 for asthmatic women who were treated. Aside from asthma, the team also noted that age played a factor for conception. For women over 30-years-old, 32.2 percent of them had an increased waiting time. For women under 30, only 24.9 percent of them experienced a prolonged waiting time before getting pregnant.

"As the negative effect of asthma on fertility is reduced by treatment, we can assume that the systemic inflammation characterized by asthma may account for the effect on delaying fertility," Juul Gade said. "Despite the delay, our overall results suggest that women with asthma had the same number of children, which is due to the fact that they tend to conceive at an earlier age compared to those without, getting a head start on their reproductive life."

The study was published in European Respiratory Journal.

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