Oral corticosteroids and risk of preterm birth in the California Medicaid program Journal Article uri icon

abstract

  • BACKGROUND: There is limited information regarding the impact of dose and gestational timing of oral corticosteroid (OCS) use on preterm birth (PTB), especially among women with asthma. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate OCS dose and timing on PTB for asthma and, as a comparison, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). METHODS: We used health care data from California Medicaid enrollees linked to birth certificates (2007-2013), identifying women with asthma (n = 22,084) and SLE (n = 1174). We estimated risk ratios (RR) for OCS cumulative dose trajectories and other disease-related medications before gestational day 140 and hazard ratios (HR) for time-varying exposures after day 139. RESULTS: For asthma, PTB risk was 14.0% for no OCS exposure and 14.3%, 16.8%, 20.5%, and 32.7% in low, medium, medium-high, and high cumulative dose trajectory groups, respectively, during the first 139 days. The high-dose group remained associated with PTB after adjustment (adjusted RR [aRR]: 1.46; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.00, 2.15). OCS dose after day 139 was not clearly associated with PTB, nor were controller medications. For SLE, PTB risk for no OCS exposure was 24.9%, and it was 39.1% in low- and 61.2% in high-dose trajectory groups. aRR were 1.80 (95% CI: 1.34, 2.40) for high and 1.24 (95% CI: 0.97, 1.58) for low groups. Only prednisone equivalent dose >20 mg/day after day 139 was associated with increased PTB (adjusted HR: 2.54; 95% CI: 1.60, 4.03). CONCLUSIONS: For asthma, higher OCS doses early in pregnancy, but not later, were associated with increased PTB. For SLE, higher doses early and later in pregnancy were associated with PTB.

publication date

  • 2021