Women with asthma have several important extrapulmonary treatable traits that need to be addressed, as they can have important consequences for both the mother and her asthma, and/or for the pregnancy. These traits include co-morbidities such as anxiety and depression, gastroesophageal reflux, obstructive sleep apnea, rhinitis and vocal cord dysfuntion, as well as obesity, gestational diabetes and pregnancy induced hypertension.

In this section we discuss the prevalence of these extrapulmonary traits, their impact on asthma symptom control pregnancy and offspring outcomes, and recommendations for treatment in the context of pregnancy.

Key messages

  • Extrapulmonary traits including anxiety and depression, rhinitis and obesity are common among pregnant women with asthma
  • The prevalence of gastroesophageal reflux, obstructive sleep apnea and vocal cord dysfunction among pregnant women with asthma is unknown
  • Some traits are associated with an increased risk of exacerbation during pregnancy (obesity), or poor asthma control (rhinitis)
  • Treatment of co-morbidities which may affect asthma and/or pregnancy outcomes is recommended