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PhD defence Bianca Mulder

When:Tu 16-02-2016 at 16:15
Where:Academy building RUG

Medication use during pregnancy and atopic diseases in childhood

In summary, the thesis  of Bianca Mulder discussed different aspects of the study of prenatal exposures and atopic disease development. We demonstrated that a case-sibling design is a valid methodology to use in pregnancy studies. When well designed, results of this case-sibling design can be compared with those of a more traditional case-control or cohort study to quantify the influence of time-invariant confounding shared within families. We demonstrated that children diagnosed with asthma can be identified reliably with prescription data. Pharmacy databases with large numbers of prescriptions may therefore provide valuable information for observational studies. We found that prenatal exposure to antibiotics was associated with childhood asthma. Though these findings will not have direct clinical implications, it may provide valuable information for a better understanding of the biological mechanism behind atopic disease development. In addition, we found that prenatal exposure to acid suppressive drugs was associated with the development of atopic diseases in childhood. The risk benefit balance of use of these drugs during pregnancy should be evaluated for the individual patient. Well-designed epidemiological studies may provide valid information regarding the safety of medication use during pregnancy. However this thesis demonstrated that health care providers should consider the perception of risks and benefits of medication use amongst pregnant women when providing safety information to the pregnant patient.