Women with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) become pregnant more easily compared with women with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), according to results published online in Rheumatology.
The results also indicated that health-related quality of life in SLE and RA influence women’s ability to become pregnant. Assessing health-related quality of life may help clinicians identify factors that can contribute to failure to achieve pregnancy.
The study used data from RevNatus, a Norwegian nationwide prospective observational register that includes women with inflammatory rheumatic diseases who are planning pregnancy. The researchers compared rates of achieved pregnancy, pregnancy outcomes, and time to pregnancy between women with SLE (n=53) and women with RA (n=180). They used the RAND-36 survey to assess health-related quality of life in women achieving and not achieving pregnancy.
After analysis, the researchers found that women with SLE had a pregnancy ratio of 1.91 (95% CI, 1.27-2.88, P =.002) compared with women with RA. In addition, women with SLE had a substantially shorter median time to pregnancy (3.0 months) compared with women with RA (7.0 months, P =.001).
Women with SLE who did not become pregnant had lower health-related quality of life scores compared with women with SLE who did become pregnant. Compared with women with SLE, women with RA tended to have lower health-related quality of life scores in physical domains regardless of whether they became pregnant.
Gotestam Skorpen C, Lyndersen S, Gilboe IM, et al. Women with systemic lupus erythematosus get pregnant more easily than women with rheumatoid arthritis [published online March 14, 2018]. Rheumatology (Oxford). doi:10.1093/rheumatology/key049