AbstractAsthma is one of the most common medical complications of pregnancy. Control of asthma is associated with improved perinatal outcomes compared with pregnancies of women whose asthma is not controlled. Peak flow measures have been recommended to determine the status of asthma yet norms for peak flow values in women with asthma are missing from the literature. The purpose of this prospective, longitudinal study was to determine average peak flow values in pregnant women with asthma. Forty three women were recruited into the study prior to the twentieth week of pregnancy. Demographic data including age, ethnic background, and number of pregnancies were collected. Type and severity of asthma, medications used for asthma, and past hospitalizations for asthma was recorded. Peak flow values increased across the three trimesters. Significant differences were found in peak flow values between the first and third trimesters (>0.001) and the second and third trimesters (>0.007). Findings from the present study contradict those of studies on pregnant women without asthma. Since hormonal levels change during pregnancy and hormones are thought to influence the status of asthma, the interaction of hormonal changes of pregnancy and asthma warrant further study.
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