Browsing by Subject "pregnancy"

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  • Karppanen, Tiina; Kaartokallio, Tea; Heinonen, Seppo; Kajantie, Eero; Kere, Juha; Kivinen, Katja; Pouta, Anneli; Staff, Anne Cathrine; Laivuori, Hannele; Klemetti, Miira M. (Helsingfors universitet, 2016)
    Background Preeclampsia is a common and heterogeneous vascular syndrome of pregnancy. Its genetic risk profile is yet unknown and may vary between individuals and populations. The rs4606 3' UTR polymorphism of the Regulator of G-protein signaling 2 gene (RGS2) in the mother has been implicated in preeclampsia as well as in the development of chronic hypertension after preeclampsia. The RGS2 protein acts as an inhibitor of physiological vasoconstrictive pathways, and a low RGS2 level is associated with hypertension and obesity, two conditions that predispose to preeclampsia. We genotyped the rs4606 polymorphism in 1339 preeclamptic patients and in 697 controls from the Finnish Genetics of Preeclampsia Consortium (FINNPEC) cohort to study the association of the variant with preeclampsia. Results No association between rs4606 and preeclampsia was detected in the analysis including all women. However, the polymorphism was associated with preeclampsia in a subgroup of overweight women (body mass index ≥ 25 kg/m2, and < 30 kg/m2) (dominant model; odds ratio, 1.64; 95% confidence interval, 1.10-2.42). Conclusions Our results suggest that RGS2 might be involved in the pathogenesis of preeclampsia particularly in overweight women and contribute to their increased risk for hypertension and other types of cardiovascular disease later in life.
  • Lau, Hui Xing; Kee, Michelle Zhi Ling; Yap, Qai Ven; Tham, Elizabeth Huiwen; Chan, Yiong Huak; Goh, Anne Eng Neo; Teoh, Oon Hoe; Eriksson, Johan Gunnar; Godfrey, Keith M.; Gluckman, Peter D.; Chong, Yap Seng; Chan, Jerry Kok Yen; Van Bever, Hugo; Lee, Bee Wah; Shek, Lynette Pei-chi; Meaney, Michael J.; Loo, Evelyn Xiu Ling (2022)
    BackgroundIncreasing evidence suggests that maternal distress is a risk factor for development of respiratory infections and allergic diseases in the offspring. We aim to evaluate the link between maternal distress during critical periods in early life, namely the preconception, pregnancy and postnatal periods, and development of respiratory infections and allergic diseases in the offspring from the Singapore PREconception Study of long Term maternal and child Outcomes (S-PRESTO) cohort. MethodsMaternal perceived distress was evaluated using validated questionnaires including Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II) administered during three time periods: preconception (three months apart at four timepoints), pregnancy (during each trimester) and postnatal (3 and 6 months post-delivery). Child eczema, rhinitis and wheeze outcomes were evaluated using a modified ISAAC questionnaire at ages 3, 6, 12, and 18 months. Child allergic sensitization was determined by skin prick testing at 18 months. ResultsAmong 332 mother-child pairs studied, higher maternal distress during preconception and pregnancy increased the risks of wheeze development in the first 18 months; for example, preconception and pregnancy BDI-II scores >= 20 were associated with increased risks of wheeze by 18 months [adjusted risk ratios 3.2 (95%CI 1.1-9.4) and 2.5 (1.0-5.9), respectively]. Emotional and practical support from family during preconception decreased the risks of offspring wheeze. No associations were observed between maternal distress and offspring eczema, rhinitis and allergic sensitization. ConclusionMaternal distress during critical early life periods was associated with offspring wheeze in the first 18 months of life. Supporting maternal mental health even before pregnancy could reduce the risk of offspring wheeze.
  • Pfaller, Birgit; Yepes-Nuñez, Juan José; Agache, Ioana; Akdis, Cezmi A.; Alsalamah, Mohammad; Bavbek, Sevim; Bossios, Apostolos; Boyman, Onur; Chaker, Adam; Chan, Susan; Chatzipetrou, Alexia; du Toit, George; Jutel, Marek; Kauppi, Paula; Kolios, Antonios; Li, Carmen; Matucci, Andrea; Marson, Alanna; Bendien, Sarah; Palomares, Oscar; Rogala, Barbara; Szepfalusi, Zsolt; Untersmayr, Eva; Vultaggio, Alessandra; Eiwegger, Thomas (2021)
    Abstract Biologicals have transformed the management of severe disease phenotypes in asthma, atopic dermatitis, and chronic spontaneous urticaria. As a result, the number of approved biologicals for the treatment of atopic diseases is continuously increasing. Although atopic diseases are among the most common diseases in the reproductive age, investigations, and information on half-life, pharmacokinetics defining the neonatal Fc receptors (FcRn) and most important safety of biologicals in pregnancy are lacking. Given the complex sequence of immunological events that regulate conception, fetal development, and the intrauterine and postnatal maturation of the immune system, this information is of utmost importance. We conducted a systematic review on biologicals in pregnancy for indications of atopic diseases. Evidence in this field is scare and mainly reserved to reports on the usage of omalizumab. This lack of evidence demands the establishment of a multidisciplinary approach for the management of pregnant women who receive biologicals and multicenter registries for long-term follow-up, drug trial designs suitable for women in the reproductive age, and better experimental models that represent the human situation. Due to the very long half-life of biologicals, pre-conception counseling, and health care provider education is crucial to offer the best care for mother and fetus. This position paper integrates available data on safety of biologicals during pregnancy in atopic diseases via a systematic review with a detailed review on immunological considerations how inhibition of different pathways may impact pregnancy.
  • Rissanen, Ina; Geerlings, Mirjam; Juvela, Seppo; Miettunen, Jouko; Paananen, Markus; Tetri, Sami (2022)
    Background and purpose For prevention of cerebrovascular diseases at younger age, it is important to understand the risk factors occurring early in life. We investigated the relationship between mothers' general health during pregnancy and the offspring's risk of cerebrovascular disease in age of 15 to 52 years. Methods Within the population-based prospective Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966, 11,926 persons were followed from antenatal period to 52 years of age. Information on their mother's ill health conditions, i.e., hospitalizations, chronic diseases, medications, vitamin or iron supplement, fever, anemia, mood, and smoking was collected from 24th gestational week onwards. Ischemic and hemorrhagic cerebrovascular diseases of the offspring were identified from national registers in Finland. Cox proportional hazard models were used to estimate the association of mother's health conditions with incidence of cerebrovascular disease in the offspring, with adjustments for potential confounders. Results During 565,585 person-years of follow-up, 449 (2.8%) of the offspring had a cerebrovascular disease. Hospitalization during pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of cerebrovascular disease in the offspring (hazard ratio (HR) = 1.49; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.06-2.08) after adjustment for confounders, as was having more than three ill health conditions (HR = 1.89; CI 1.14-3.11). Not using vitamin or iron supplement was associated with increased risk for cerebrovascular disease in the offspring (HR = 1.39; CI 1.01-1.89). Conclusions The results suggest that the risk of cerebrovascular disease may start as early as during the antenatal period, and the health characteristics of mothers during pregnancy may play a role in cerebrovascular disease risk of the offspring.
  • Livson, Sivan; Virtanen, Seppo; Lokki, A. Inkeri; Holster, Tiina; Rahkonen, Leena; Kalliala, Ilkka; Nieminen, Pekka; Salonen, Anne; Meri, Seppo (2022)
    BackgroundVaginal microbiome and the local innate immune defense, including the complement system, contribute to anti- and proinflammatory homeostasis during pregnancy and parturition. The relationship between commensal vaginal bacteria and complement activation during pregnancy and delivery is not known. ObjectiveTo study the association of the cervicovaginal microbiota composition to activation and regulation of the complement system during pregnancy and labor. Study designWe recruited women during late pregnancy (weeks 41 + 5 to 42 + 0, n=48) and women in active labor (weeks 38 + 4 to 42 + 2, n=25). Mucosal swabs were taken from the external cervix and lateral fornix of the vagina. From the same sampling site, microbiota was analyzed with 16S RNA gene amplicon sequencing. A Western blot technique was used to detect complement C3, C4 and factor B activation and presence of complement inhibitors. For semiquantitative analysis, the bands of the electrophoresed proteins in gels were digitized on a flatbed photo scanner and staining intensities were analyzed using ImageJ/Fiji win-64 software. Patient data was collected from medical records and questionnaires. ResultsThe vaginal microbiota was Lactobacillus-dominant in most of the samples (n=60), L. iners and L. crispatus being the dominant species. L. gasseri and L. jensenii were found to be more abundant during pregnancy than active labor. L. jensenii abundance correlated with C4 activation during pregnancy but not in labor. Gardnerella vaginalis was associated with C4 activation both during pregnancy and labor. The amount of L. gasseri correlated with factor B activation during pregnancy but not during labor. Atopobium vaginae was more abundant during pregnancy than labor and correlated with C4 activation during labor and with factor B activation during pregnancy. Activation of the alternative pathway factor B was significantly stronger during pregnancy compared to labor. During labor complement activation may be inhibited by the abundant presence of factor H and FHL1. ConclusionsThese results indicate that bacterial composition of the vaginal microbiota could have a role in the local activation and regulation of complement-mediated inflammation during pregnancy. At the time of parturition complement activation appears to be more strictly regulated than during pregnancy.
  • Ervaala, Attina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Pre-eklampsia on globaali ongelma, mikä komplisoi 2–8 % raskauksista. Pre-eklampsiassa normaalisti sikiötä äidin immuunipuolustukselta suojaavien tekijöiden säätely on häiriintynyt. Tutkimuksen tarkoituksena oli selvittää pre-eklampsian riskiä ja luonnetta luovutetuilla sukusoluilla saavutetuissa raskauksissa. Koska luovutetut sukusolut eroavat immunologisesti normaalia enemmän kantajastaan, hypoteesiksi asetettiin, että näissä raskauksissa pre-eklampsiaa esiintyy enemmän. Myös kirjallisuuden mukaan näissä raskauksissa vaikuttaisi olevan pre-eklampsiaa enemmän (38–20 %). Aineistona oli Finnish Genetics of Preeclampsia Consortium (FINNPEC) kohortti (n=2778). Tässä pre-eklampsia määriteltiin seuraavasti: 1. yli 140 mmHg:n systolinen verenpaine sekä 2. proteinuria (virtsan proteiini ≥0·3 g/24 h tai 0·3 g/L tai kaksi ≥1+ tulosta liuskatestissä) ja 3. näiden ilmeneminen H20 jälkeen. Näillä kriteereillä verrattiin luovutetuilla sukusoluilla saavutettuja raskauksia (n=21) muihin raskauksiin (n=2757). Väestötason esiintyvyys pre-eklampsian suhteen saatiin terveyden ja hyvinvoinnin laitoksen syntyneiden lasten rekisteristä. Tutkimuksen tuloksena todettiin pre-eklampsiaa esiintyvän enemmän luovutetuilla sukusoluilla saavutetuissa raskauksissa. Muita riskitekijöitä olivat muun muassa äidin korkeampi ikä ja sikiön miessukupuoli. Pre-eklampsiaraskauksia vertailtaessa luovutetuilla sukusoluilla saavutetuissa raskauksissa esiintyi enemmän ennenaikaisia synnytyksiä, ja pre-eklampsia diagnosoitiin aiemmin kuin muissa raskauksissa. Luovutettujen sukusolujen raskauksista ei löydetty tilastollisesti merkittäviä eroja raskauksien luonteissa luovutettujen siittiöiden ja munasolujen välillä, mutta näyttäisi siltä, että riskit ovat isommat luovutetuilla munasoluilla alkaneissa raskauksissa. Tulokset tukevat aikaisempia tutkimustuloksia, vaikka otanta olikin pieni. Tilastollisten merkitsevien erojen puuttumisesta huolimatta tutkimus mahdollisti lisätiedon saamisen sikiön sukupuolen ja vieraiden antigeenien merkityksestä.
  • Piltonen, Terhi T.; Giacobini, Paolo; Edvinsson, Asa; Hustad, Steinar; Lager, Susanne; Morin-Papunen, Laure; Tapanainen, Juha S.; Sundström-Poromaa, Inger; Arffman, Riikka K. (2019)
    Objective: To investigate plasma antimullerian hormone (AMH) concentration and its relation to steroid hormone levels in pregnant women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and controls at term. Design: Case-control study. Setting: University-affiliated hospital. Patient(s): A total of 74 pregnant women at term: 25 women with PCOS (aged 31.6 +/- 3.9 years [mean +/- standard deviation], body mass index 24.0 +/- 3.9 kg/m2, mean gestational length 279 +/- 9 days) and 49 controls (aged 31.7 +/- 3.3 years, body mass index 24.0 +/- 3.3 kg/m2, mean gestational length 281 +/- 9 days). Intervention(s): None. Main Outcome Measure(s): Plasma AMH and steroid hormone levels. Result(s): Antimullerian hormone, T, and androstenedione levels were higher in women with PCOS at term compared with controls, whereas estrogen and P levels were similar. The differences were pronounced in women carrying a female fetus. Testosterone and AMH levels correlated positively in both groups, but E2 levels only in women with PCOS. Conclusion(s): Pregnant women with PCOS present with elevated AMH and androgen levels even at term, suggesting a hormonal imbalance during PCOS pregnancy. Differences were detected especially in pregnancies with a female fetus, raising the question of whether female pregnancies are more susceptible to AMH and steroid hormone actions. (C) Copyright (C) 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
  • Dijkstra, Douwe Jan; Lokki, A. Inkeri; Gierman, Lobke Marijn; Borggreven, Nicole Veronique; van der Keur, Carin; Eikmans, Michael; Gelderman, Kyra Andrea; Laivuori, Hannele; Iversen, Ann-Charlotte; van der Hoorn, Marie-Louise P.; Trouw, Leendert Adrianus (2022)
    Preeclampsia (PE) generally manifests in the second half of pregnancy with hypertension and proteinuria. The understanding of the origin and mechanism behind PE is incomplete, although there is clearly an immune component to this disorder. The placenta constitutes a complicated immune interface between fetal and maternal cells, where regulation and tolerance are key. Stress factors from placental dysfunction in PE are released to the maternal circulation evoking the maternal response. Several complement factors play a role within this intricate landscape, including C1q in vascular remodeling and Factor H (FH) as the key regulator of alternative pathway complement activation. We hypothesize that decreased levels of C1q or FH, or disturbance of their function by autoantibodies, may be associated with PE. Autoantibodies against C1q and FH and the concentrations of C1q and FH were measured by ELISA in maternal sera from women with preeclamptic and normal pregnancies. Samples originated from cohorts collected in the Netherlands (n=63 PE; n=174 control pregnancies, n=51 nonpregnant), Finland (n=181 PE; n=63 control pregnancies) and Norway (n=59 PE; n=27 control pregnancies). Serum C1q and FH concentrations were higher in control pregnancy than in nonpregnant women. No significant differences were observed for serum C1q between preeclamptic and control pregnancy in any of the three cohorts. Serum levels of FH were lower in preeclamptic pregnancies compared to control pregnancies in two of the cohorts, this effect was driven by the early onset PE cases. Neither anti-C1q autoantibodies nor anti-FH autoantibodies levels differed between women with PE and normal pregnancies. In conclusion, levels of anti-C1q and anti-FH autoantibodies are not increased in PE. C1q and FH are increased in pregnancy, but importantly, a decrease in FH concentration is associated with PE.
  • Annual Capri Workshop Grp; Glasier, Anna; Bhattacharya, Siladitya; Heikinheimo, Oskari; Volpe, Annibale (2019)
    Whatever the outcome, pregnancy provides the opportunity to offer effective contraception to couples motivated to avoid another pregnancy. This narrative review summarizes the evidence for health providers, drawing attention to current guidelines on which contraceptive methods can be used, and when they should be started after pregnancy, whatever its outcome. Fertility returns within 1 month of the end of pregnancy unless breastfeeding occurs. Breastfeeding, which itself suppresses fertility after childbirth, influences both when contraception should start and what methods can be used. Without breastfeeding, effective contraception should be started as soon as possible if another pregnancy is to be avoided. Interpregnancy intervals of at least 6 months after miscarriage and 1-2 years after childbirth have long been recommended by the World Health Organization in order to reduce the chance of adverse pregnancy outcome. Recent research suggests that this may not be necessary, at least for healthy women
  • Tokariev, Anton; Oberlander, Victoria C.; Videman, Mari; Vanhatalo, Sampsa (2022)
    Up to five percent of human infants are exposed to maternal antidepressant medication by serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRI) during pregnancy, yet the SRI effects on infants' early neurodevelopment are not fully understood. Here, we studied how maternal SRI medication affects cortical frequency-specific and cross-frequency interactions estimated, respectively, by phase-phase correlations (PPC) and phase-amplitude coupling (PAC) in electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings. We examined the cortical activity in infants after fetal exposure to SRIs relative to a control group of infants without medical history of any kind. Our findings show that the sleep-related dynamics of PPC networks are selectively affected by in utero SRI exposure, however, those alterations do not correlate to later neurocognitive development as tested by neuropsychological evaluation at two years of age. In turn, phase-amplitude coupling was found to be suppressed in SRI infants across multiple distributed cortical regions and these effects were linked to their neurocognitive outcomes. Our results are compatible with the overall notion that in utero drug exposures may cause subtle, yet measurable changes in the brain structure and function. Our present findings are based on the measures of local and inter-areal neuronal interactions in the cortex which can be readily used across species, as well as between different scales of inspection: from the whole animals to in vitro preparations. Therefore, this work opens a framework to explore the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying neurodevelopmental SRI effects at all translational levels.
  • Engjom, H.; Aabakke, A.J.M.; Klungsøyr, K.; Svanvik, T.; Äyräs, Outi; Jonasdottir, E.; Thurn, L.; Jones, E.; Pettersson, K.; Nyfløt, L.T.; Al-Zirqi, I.; Vangen, S.; Júlíusson, P.B.; Källén, K.; Gissler, M.; Krebs, Lone (2021)
    Introduction Population-based studies about the consequences of SARS-CoV-2 infection (COVID-19) in pregnancy are few and have limited generalizability to the Nordic population and healthcare systems. Material and methods This study examines pregnant women with COVID-19 in the five Nordic countries. Pregnant women were included if they were admitted to hospital between 1 March and 30 June 2020 and had a positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR test Results In the study areas, 214 pregnant women with a positive test were admitted to hospital, of which 56 women required hospital care due to COVID-19. The risk of admission due to COVID-19 was 0.4/1000 deliveries in Denmark, Finland and Norway, and 3.8/1000 deliveries in the Swedish regions. Women hospitalized because of COVID-19 were more frequently obese (p < 0.001) and had a migrant background (p < 0.001) compared with the total population of women who delivered in 2018. Twelve women (21.4%) needed intensive care. Among the 56 women admitted due to COVID-19, 48 women delivered 51 infants. Preterm delivery (n = 12, 25%, p < 0.001) and cesarean delivery (n = 21, 43.8%, p < 0.001) were more frequent in women with COVID-19 compared with women who delivered in 2018. No maternal deaths, stillbirths or neonatal deaths were reported. Conclusions The risk of admission due to COVID-19 disease in pregnancy was low in the Nordic countries. A fifth of the women required intensive care and we observed higher rates of preterm and cesarean deliveries. National public health policies appear to have had an impact on the risk of admission due to severe COVID-19 disease in pregnancy. Nordic collaboration is important in collecting robust data and assessing rare outcomes.
  • Gruzieva, Olena; Merid, Simon Kebede; Chen, Su; Mukherjee, Nandini; Hedman, Anna M.; Almqvist, Catarina; Andolf, Ellika; Jiang, Yu; Kere, Juha; Scheynius, Annika; Soderhall, Cilia; Ullemar, Vilhelmina; Karmaus, Wilfried; Melen, Erik; Arshad, Syed Hasan; Pershagen, Goran (2019)
    There is emerging evidence on DNA methylation (DNAm) variability over time; however, little is known about dynamics of DNAm patterns during pregnancy. We performed an epigenome-wide longitudinal DNAm study of a well-characterized sample of young women from the Swedish Born into Life study, with repeated blood sampling before, during and after pregnancy (n = 21), using the Illumina Infinium MethylationEPIC array. We conducted a replication in the Isle of Wight third-generation birth cohort (n = 27), using the Infinium HumanMethylation450k BeadChip. We identified 196 CpG sites displaying intra-individual longitudinal change in DNAm with a false discovery rate (FDR) P <.05. Most of these (91%) showed a decrease in average methylation levels over the studied period. We observed several genes represented by > 3 differentially methylated CpGs: HOXB3, AVP, LOC100996291, and MicroRNA 10a. Of 36 CpGs available in the replication cohort, 17 were replicated, all but 2 with the same direction of association (replication P <.05). Biological pathway analysis demonstrated that FDR-significant CpGs belong to genes overrepresented in metabolism-related pathways, such as adipose tissue development, regulation of insulin receptor signaling, and mammary gland fat development. These results contribute to a better understanding of the biological mechanisms underlying important physiological alterations and adaptations for pregnancy and lactation.
  • Lokki, Anna Inkeri; Teirilä, Laura L; Triebwasser, M.; Daly, E.; Bhattacharjee, Atreyi; Uotila, Lasse; Llort Asens, Marc; Kurki, M.; Perola, M.; Auro, K.; Salmon, J. E.; Daly, Mark; Atkinson, J. P.; Laivuori, Hannele; Fagerholm, Susanna; Meri, Seppo; FINNPEC; Heinonen, Seppo (2021)
    Objective To study genetic variants and their function within genes coding for complement receptors in pre-eclampsia. Design A case-control study. Setting Pre-eclampsia is a common vascular disease of pregnancy. The clearance of placenta-derived material is one of the functions of the complement system in pregnancy. Population We genotyped 500 women with pre-eclamptic pregnancies and 190 pregnant women without pre-eclampsia, as controls, from the FINNPEC cohort, and 122 women with pre-eclamptic pregnancies and 1905 controls from the national FINRISK cohort. Methods The functional consequences of genotypes discovered by targeted exomic sequencing were explored by analysing the binding of the main ligand iC3b to mutated CR3 or CR4, which were transiently expressed on the surface of COS-1 cells. Main outcome measures Allele frequencies were compared between pre-eclamptic pregnancies and controls in genetic studies. The functional consequences of selected variants were measured by binding assays. Results The most significantly pre-eclampsia-linked CR3 variant M441K (P = 4.27E-4, OR = 1.401, 95% CI = 1.167-1.682) displayed a trend of increased adhesion to iC3b (P = 0.051). The CR4 variant A251T was found to enhance the adhesion of CR4 to iC3b, whereas W48R resulted in a decrease of the binding of CR4 to iC3b. Conclusions Results suggest that changes in complement-facilitated phagocytosis are associated with pre-eclampsia. Further studies are needed to ascertain whether aberrant CR3 and CR4 activity leads to altered pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokine responses in individuals carrying the associated variants, and the role of these receptors in pre-eclampsia pathogenesis. Tweetable abstract Genetic variants of complement receptors CR3 and CR4 have functional consequences that are associated with pre-eclampsia.
  • Burwick, Richard M.; Lokki, A. Inkeri; Fleming, Sherry D.; Regal, Jean F. (2021)
  • Sandborg, Johanna; Söderström, Emmie; Henriksson, Pontus; Bendtsen, Marcus; Henström, Maria; Leppänen, Marja H.; Maddison, Ralph; Migueles, Jairo H.; Blomberg, Marie; Löf, Marie (2021)
    Background: Excessive gestational weight gain (GWG) during pregnancy is a major public health concern associated with negative health outcomes for both mother and child. Scalable interventions are needed, and digital interventions have the potential to reach many women and promote healthy GWG. Most previous studies of digital interventions have been small pilot studies or have not included women from all BMI categories. We therefore examined the effectiveness of a smartphone app in a large sample (n=305) covering all BMI categories. Objective: To investigate the effectiveness of a 6-month intervention (the HealthyMoms app) on GWG, body fatness, dietary habits, moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), glycemia, and insulin resistance in comparison to standard maternity care. Methods: A 2-arm parallel randomized controlled trial was conducted. Women in early pregnancy at maternity clinics in Östergötland, Sweden, were recruited. Eligible women who provided written informed consent completed baseline measures, before being randomized in a 1:1 ratio to either an intervention (n=152) or control group (n=153). The control group received standard maternity care while the intervention group received the HealthyMoms smartphone app for 6 months (which includes multiple features, eg, information; push notifications; self-monitoring; and feedback features for GWG, diet, and physical activity) in addition to standard care. Outcome measures were assessed at Linköping University Hospital at baseline (mean 13.9 [SD 0.7] gestational weeks) and follow-up (mean 36.4 [SD 0.4] gestational weeks). The primary outcome was GWG and secondary outcomes were body fatness (Bod Pod), dietary habits (Swedish Healthy Eating Index) using the web-based 3-day dietary record Riksmaten FLEX, MVPA using the ActiGraph wGT3x-BT accelerometer, glycemia, and insulin resistance. Results: Overall, we found no statistically significant effect on GWG (P=.62); however, the data indicate that the effect of the intervention differed by pre-pregnancy BMI, as women with overweight and obesity before pregnancy gained less weight in the intervention group as compared with the control group in the imputed analyses (-1.33 kg; 95% CI -2.92 to 0.26; P=.10) and completers-only analyses (-1.67 kg; 95% CI -3.26 to -0.09; P=.031]). Bayesian analyses showed that there was a 99% probability of any intervention effect on GWG among women with overweight and obesity, and an 81% probability that this effect was over 1 kg. The intervention group had higher scores for the Swedish Healthy Eating Index at follow-up than the control group (0.27; 95% CI 0.05-0.50; P=.017). We observed no statistically significant differences in body fatness, MVPA, glycemia, and insulin resistance between the intervention and control group at follow up (P≥.21). Conclusions: Although we found no overall effect on GWG, our results demonstrate the potential of a smartphone app (HealthyMoms) to promote healthy dietary behaviors as well as to decrease weight gain during pregnancy in women with overweight and obesity.
  • D'Angelo, Arianna; Panayotidis, Costas; Alteri, Alessandra; Mcheik, Saria; Veleva, Zdravka (2022)
    BACKGROUND Ultrasound-guided embryo transfer (US-GET) is a widely performed procedure, but standards for the best practice are not available. OBJECTIVE AND RATIONALE This document aims to provide an overview of technical aspects of US-GET after considering the published data and including the preparation for the embryo transfer (ET) procedure, the actual procedure, the post-procedure care, associated pathologies, complications and risks, quality assurance and practitioners' performance. SEARCH METHODS A literature search for evidence on key aspects of the ET procedure was carried out from database inception to November 2021. Selected papers (n = 359) relevant to the topic were analysed by the authors. The following key points were considered in the papers: whether ultrasound (US) practice standards were explained, to what extent the ET technique was described and whether complications or incidents and how to prevent such events were reported. In the end, 89 papers could be used to support the recommendations in this document, which focused on transabdominal US-GET. OUTCOMES The relevant papers found in the literature search were included in the current document and described according to the topic in three main sections: requirements and preparations prior to ET, the ET procedure and training and competence for ET. Recommendations are provided on preparations prior to ET, equipment and materials, ET technique, possible risks and complications, training and competence. Specific aspects of the laboratory procedures are covered, in particular the different loading techniques and their potential impact on the final outcomes. Potential future developments and research priorities regarding the ET technique are also outlined. LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION Many topics were not covered in the literature review and some recommendations were based on expert opinions and are not necessarily evidence based. WIDER IMPLICATIONS ET is the last procedural step in an ART treatment and is a crucial step towards achieving a pregnancy and live birth. The current paper set out to bring together the recent developments considering all aspects of ET, especially emphasizing US quality imaging. There are still many questions needing answers, and these can be subject of future research. STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTEREST(S) No funding. A.D.A. has received royalties from CRC Press and personal honorarium from Cook, Ferring and Cooper Surgical. The other co-authors have no conflicts of interest to declare that are relevant to the content of this article.
  • Rahnasto, Johanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Preeclampsia is a vascular pregnancy disorder characterized by new-onset hypertension and proteinuria and/or new-onset preeclampsia associated symptoms during the second half of pregnancy. The pathophysiology of the disorder is not fully understood, but incomplete placentation and maternal tolerance towards fetal tissue are known to play a part in the disease pathogenesis. Predisposing factors include nulliparity, obesity, diabetes, chronic hypertension and autoimmune diseases. Furthermore, women who have experienced preeclampsia are more susceptible to cardiovascular disease later in life. One established biomarker for preeclampsia is the increased concentration of the soluble Fms-like tyrosine kinase 1 (sFlt1) in the maternal serum. sFlt1 is frequently overexpressed in preeclampsia and it is linked with angiogenic imbalance and endothelial dysfunction, although its role in the disorder is not completely clear. Preeclampsia has a genetic background. There are protective and predisposing variants in and near the Fms related tyrosine kinase 1 gene (FLT1; coding for sFlt1) that have been associated with preeclampsia either in the mother or in the fetus. In this study, five genetic polymorphisms over a 2.3 kb region in the 3’ untranslated region of FLT1 were genotyped by Sanger sequencing and fragment analysis in altogether 1200 individuals consisting of case and control mother–child pairs of the Finnish Genetics of Pre-eclampsia Consortium (FINNPEC) cohort. These polymorphisms were tested for association with various preeclampsia-related phenotypes by Fisher’s exact test. In the maternal genome, the minor alleles of rs17086497 and rs57760154 were associated with extreme hypertension (systolic blood pressure >180 mmHg) (p=0.004, OR=1.77) and obesity (p=0.023, OR=1.63). Homozygosity for these minor alleles was associated with pregnancy complications in general (p=0.026, OR=2.53) and the early-onset form of preeclampsia (p=0.004, OR=3.34). Additionally, the minor alleles of rs9554314, rs3138582 and rs149279513 were associated with extreme hypertension (p=0.045, OR=1.63) and obesity (p=0.023, OR=1.78). Moreover, a suggestive association to severe proteinuria (> 5 g/24h) was found in the maternal genome. In the fetal genome, significant negative associations were reached for rs17086497 and rs57760154 in terms of the serum concentration of sFlt1 in the preeclampsia group (p=0.008, OR=0.23). Overall, the results seem to link the studied region in the maternal genome to preeclampsia with severe features. This supports the idea of preeclampsia as a heterogeneous disorder with varying etiology and mechanisms and thus highlights the importance of differentiating between the various sub-phenotypes. For example, the association of the same allele in the fetal genome with lower maternal sFlt1 levels and in the maternal genome with severe symptoms of preeclampsia suggests that the sFlt1 level might not be a good measure in all patients. Additionally, the observed associations with extreme hypertension and obesity point to the possibility that this region might be relevant for the endothelial damage that is thought to be a central factor in creating the later-in-life disease susceptibility.
  • Malm, Heli; Brown, Alan S.; Gissler, Mika; Gyllenberg, David; Hinkka-Yli-Salomaki, Susanna; McKeague, Ian W.; Weissman, Myrna; Wickramaratne, Priya; Artama, Miia; Gingrich, Jay A.; Sourander, Andre (2016)
    Objective: To investigate the impact of gestational exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) on offspring neurodevelopment. Method: This is a cohort study using national register data in Finland between the years 1996 and 2010. Pregnant women and their offspring were categorized into 4 groups: SSRI exposed (n = 15,729); exposed to psychiatric disorder, no antidepressants (n = 9,651); exposed to SSRIs only before pregnancy (n = 7,980); and unexposed to antidepressants and psychiatric disorders (n = 31,394). We investigated the cumulative incidence of offspring diagnoses of depression, anxiety, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) for the 4 groups from birth to 14 years, adjusting for confounders. Results: The cumulative incidence of depression among offspring exposed prenatally to SSRIs was 8.2% (95% CI = 3.1-13.3%) by age 14.9 years, compared with 1.9% (95% CI = 0.9-2.9%) in the psychiatric disorder, no medication group (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] = 1.78; 95% CI = 1.12-2.82; p=.02) and to 2.8% (95% CI = 1.4-4.3%) in the SSRI discontinued group (HR = 1.84; 95% CI = 1.14-2.97; p=.01). Rates of anxiety, ASD, and ADHD diagnoses were comparable to rates in offspring of mothers with a psychiatric disorder but no medication during pregnancy. Comparing SSRI exposed to unexposed individuals, the HRs were significantly elevated for each outcome. Conclusion: Prenatal SSRI exposure was associated with increased rates of depression diagnoses in early adolescence but not with ASD or ADHD. Until confirmed, these findings must be balanced against the substantial adverse consequences of untreated maternal depression.
  • Hasan, Sayyid; Aho, Velma; Pereira, Pedro; Paulin, Lars; Koivusalo, Saila B.; Auvinen, Petri; Eriksson, Johan G. (2018)
    Introduction An altered gut microbiome composition is shown to be associated with various diseases and health outcomes. We compare the gut microbiota of women who developed gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) with that of those who did not, and the gut microbiota of their offspring, to determine any differences in the composition and diversity of their gut microbiota, which may be correlated with their GDM state. Material and methods All women were at high risk for GDM and participated in the Finnish Gestational Diabetes Prevention Study (RADIEL). Stool samples were obtained, 5years postpartum, from 60 GDM-positive women, 68 non-GDM control women, and their children (n=109), 237 individuals in total. 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing was employed to determine the composition of bacterial communities present. Statistical correlations were inferred between clinical variables and microbiota, while taking into account potential confounders. Results In mothers, no significant differences were observed in microbiota composition between the two groups. Genus Anaerotruncus was increased in children of women with GDM (p
  • Vesikari, Timo; Virta, Miia; Heinonen, Seppo; Eymin, Cécile; Lavis, Nathalie; Chabanon, Anne Laure; Gresset-Bourgeois, Viviane (2020)
    ABSTRACTVaccination against influenza during pregnancy provides direct protection to pregnant women and indirect protection to their infants. Trivalent inactivated influenza vaccines (IIV3s) are safe and effective during pregnancy, but quadrivalent inactivated influenza vaccines (IIV4s) have not been evaluated in pregnant women and their infants. Here, we report the results of a randomized phase IV study to evaluate the immunogenicity and safety of IIV4 vs. IIV3 in pregnant women. Participants aged ≥18 years at weeks 20 to 32 of gestation were randomly assigned in a 2:1 ratio to receive a single dose of IIV4 (n = 230) or IIV3 (n = 116). Between baseline and 21 days after vaccination, hemagglutination inhibition (HAI) antibody titers increased in both groups by similar magnitudes for the two influenza A strains and single B strain common to IIV4 and IIV3. For the additional B strain in IIV4, HAI titers were higher in IIV4 recipients than IIV3 recipients (post-/pre-vaccination geometric mean titer ratio, 6.3 [95% CI: 5.1 ? 7.7] vs. 3.4 [95% CI: 2.7 ? 4.3]). At delivery, in both groups, HAI antibody titers for all strains were 1.5 ? 1.9-fold higher in umbilical cord blood than in maternal blood, confirming active transplacental antibody transfer. Rates of solicited and unsolicited vaccine-related adverse events in mothers were similar between the two groups. Live births were reported for all participants and there were no vaccine-related adverse events in newborns. These results suggest IIV4 is as safe and immunogenic as IIV3 in pregnant women, and that maternal immunization with IIV4 should protect newborns against influenza via passively acquired antibodies.