Scientific Literature

Pregnancy Outcomes in Women Affected by Fetal Alpha-Thalassemia: A Case Control Study

Li, J., Yan, J., Huang, Y., Wei, J., Xie, B., Zhu, M., & Jiang, W. Scientific Reports, 11(1), 1-8. (2021)

To evaluate the possible associations between fetal α-thalassemia and risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes using a provincial woman-child health service information database in China.

This was a case control study (N = 438,747) in which we compared all singleton pregnancies of women with or without the α-thalassemia trait from May 2016 to May 2020, and where women with the trait were further allocated to a normal fetal group, a group of fetuses with the α-thalassemia trait, and a fetal group with hemoglobin H (HbH) disease according to the results of fetal DNA analysis.

With thalassemic women whose fetuses were normal as the reference, fetuses in the HbH disease group showed a higher increase in the odds of Apgar scores being < 7 at 1 min (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 2.79; 1.03–7.59) and 5 min (aOR, 4.56; 1.07–19.40). With non-thalassemic women as the reference, these trends were more obvious (aOR, 4.83; 2.55–9.16; aOR, 6.24; 2.75–14.18, respectively); whereas the normal fetal group was more likely to be diagnosed with postpartum hemorrhage (aOR, 1.66; 1.10–2.50).

In addition, fetal HbH disease and gestational age were two independent factors influencing low Apgar scores, and their combination reflected medium accuracy in Apgar predictions.

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