TUESDAY, July 9, 2019 (HealthDay News) — In-hospital maternal mortality decreased from 1998 to 2015 in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and non-SLE pregnancies, with a greater decline for SLE pregnancies, according to a study published online July 9 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Bella Mehta, M.B.B.S., from the Hospital for Special Surgery and Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City, and colleagues examined nationwide trends and disparities in maternal and fetal complications among pregnant women with SLE in a retrospective cohort study conducted in the United States from 1998 to 2015.

The researchers found that during this time frame, an estimated 93,820 pregnant women with SLE and 78,045,054 without SLE were hospitalized in the United States. During those 18 years, outcomes improved. Among patients with and those without SLE, there was a decrease in in-hospital maternal deaths (per 100,000 admissions; 442 versus 13 for 1998 to 2000 and <50 versus 10 for 2013 to 2015); a greater decrease was seen for women with SLE. In all pregnancy-related and delivery-related admissions, the percentage of patients with SLE increased significantly.

“Our study provides nationwide evidence that SLE pregnancy outcomes have become markedly better in the past two decades and continue to improve,” the authors write. “However, SLE pregnancy risks remain high, and more work is needed to ensure good pregnancy outcomes among women with SLE.”

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