Mothers with juvenile arthritis: At greater risk of developing cardiac diseases
Juvenile arthritis can be defined as group of many autoimmune and inflammatory conditions or pediatric rheumatic diseases which may develop in children under the age of 16. The road to motherhood is definitely full of obstacles for the women who had suffered lifelong from juvenile arthritis. Recently, a nested case-control study was conducted to assess the relationship of women with juvenile arthritis and risk of developing heart diseases, hypertension and other adverse maternal outcomes.
The study had two groups. First group included first time mothers with prior physician billing codes suggesting juvenile arthritis and second group included women without juvenile arthritis. In order to create nested case-control design, 3 controls for each case for the outcomes of heart disease (n=403), pre-pregnancy hypertension (n=66), gestational diabetes (n=285), maternal hypertension (n=561) and pre-eclampsia/eclampsia (n=236) were selected. Conditional logistic regression was used for adjusting maternal age and education.
After careful assessment, it was found that juvenile arthritis was associated with heart disease (odds ratio (OR) 2.44, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.15,5.15 but was not associated with gestational hypertension, diabetes or pre-eclampsia/eclampsia. 66 women suffering from pre-pregnancy hypertension also had juvenile arthritis.
The current findings may suggest cardiac prevention as an important strategic approach while treating juvenile arthritis. Future research should focus on evaluating the impact of medications, disease severity and other factors on cardiac outcomes in juvenile arthritis.