Journal Article

Childbearing and the Risk of Scleroderma: A Population-based Study in Sweden

Mats Lambe, Lena Björnådal, Petra Neregård, Olof Nyren and Glinda S. Cooper

in American Journal of Epidemiology

Published on behalf of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Volume 159, issue 2, pages 162-166
Published in print January 2004 | ISSN: 0002-9262
Published online January 2004 | e-ISSN: 1476-6256 | DOI:
Childbearing and the Risk of Scleroderma: A Population-based Study in Sweden

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This study examined associations between childbearing and risk of scleroderma by using national population-based registry data from Sweden. Women with a discharge diagnosis of scleroderma from 1964 to 1999 (n = 2,149) were identified in the Swedish Inpatient Register. These cases were matched by year and month of birth and region of residence to as many as five controls obtained from the Multi-Generation Register. Pregnancy history (number of births, age at each birth) was restricted to births before the first scleroderma-related hospitalization for cases and the corresponding age for their matched controls. Risk estimates, measured by the odds ratio and 95% confidence interval, were obtained by using conditional logistic regression. Nulliparity was associated with an increased risk of scleroderma (odds ratio = 1.37, 95% confidence interval: 1.22, 1.55). Risk decreased with increasing number of births. Similar results were found when analyses were limited to births up to 2 years or up to 5 years before hospitalization. Among parous women, younger age at first birth was associated with an increased risk of scleroderma. The association between lower parity and increased risk of scleroderma could reflect subfecundity caused by scleroderma before disease became clinically evident, possible common causes of infertility and scleroderma, or a protective effect of pregnancy through an unknown mechanism.

Keywords: maternal-fetal exchange; parity; pregnancy; scleroderma, systemic; Abbreviations: CI, confidence interval; ICD, International Classification of Diseases; OR, odds ratio.

Journal Article.  3226 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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