Glucocorticoids are given during pregnancy when rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is too active. It could lead to increased risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in the offspring. Elevated RA disease activity during pregnancy is associated with low birth weight and rapid post-natal growth. Both can negatively influence the body composition later in life. This study shows that prednisone use or RA disease activity in pregnant women with RA had no influence on the body composition of prepubertal offspring. Furthermore, no components of the metabolic syndrome (MetS) were present in the children, which minimalize the change on CVD or T2DM later in life. This reassuring conclusion might lead to a different therapeutic view when glucocorticoid treatment during pregnancy is inevitable.

, , , , ,,
Reproductive Toxicology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

de Steenwinkel, F., Dolhain, R., Hazes, M., & Hokken-Koelega, A. (2017). Does prednisone use or disease activity in pregnant women with rheumatoid arthritis influence the body composition of their offspring?. Reproductive Toxicology, 71, 118–123. doi:10.1016/j.reprotox.2017.05.002