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Systemic Treatment of Vitiligo Before Conception Lowers the Risk of Abortion in Pregnant Women

A recent study published in the Public Library of Science Journal (PLOS) suggests that pregnant women with vitiligo, undergoing systemic treatment to control the disease had a lower risk of abortion when compared to the ones who did not take any treatment.

The study was a retrospective cohort study which utilized data of pregnant women from the National Health Insurance Research Database of Taiwan. The database was taken from January 1, 2000 to December 31, 2015 to analyse the the association of pregnancy outcomes with vitiligo.

The study involved 1096 vitiligo women and 4384 non-vitiligo women. All these women were matched based on their age, other co-existing diseases and the index year. The evaluation data only included details about first pregnancy to avoid any bias of differing outcomes. Women who were pregnant and diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Sjogren’s syndrome and Rheumatoid Arthritis before the year 2000 were excluded. All women below the age of 20 years were also excluded from the study.

The pregnancy outcomes measured in this study included abortion, livebirths and other perinatal events. They were evaluated based on medical history of pregnant women with vitiligo 1 year before pregnancy. Systemic treatment of vitiligo in these women, including oral medications and phototherapy before conception for at least 3 months were taken into account.

 A comparative statistical analysis was carried out to assess whether the risk of abortion decreases with systemic treatment of vitiligo 1 year before pregnancy. The results indicated that patients who underwent systemic treatment with oral medications had a lower risk of abortion when compared to the ones who did not take any treatment. Furthermore, no abortions were seen in patients treated with oral medications and phototherapy.

Therefore, the findings of the study imply that pregnant women with vitiligo are at a higher risk of abortion and systemic treatment before pregnancy could reduce their risk and enhance pregnancy outcomes.

Source: 5. Hung C, Huang H, Wang C et al. Pregnancy outcomes in women with vitiligo: A Taiwanese nationwide cohort study. PLoS One. (2021); 16(3):e0248651.

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