Abstract

Characteristics and Maternal-Fetal Outcomes of Pregnant Women Without Celiac Disease Who Avoid Gluten

Dig Dis Sci. 2020 Oct;65(10):2970-2978.doi: 10.1007/s10620-020-06232-3. Epub 2020 Apr 1.

Benjamin A Wagner 1, Noelia Zork 2, John W Blackett 3, Peter H R Green 3

 
     

Author information

  • 1Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, USA.
  • 2Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, USA.
  • 3Division of Digestive and Liver Diseases, Department of Medicine, Celiac Disease Center, Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, USA.
  • 4Division of Digestive and Liver Diseases, Department of Medicine, Celiac Disease Center, Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, USA. bl114@cumc.columbia.edu.
  • 5Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, USA. bl114@cumc.columbia.edu.

Abstract

Background: Gluten avoidance among patients without celiac disease has become increasingly popular, especially among young and female demographics; however, no research has explored gluten avoidance during pregnancy, when nutrition is particularly important.

Aims: To determine whether avoiding gluten in pregnancy is associated with any medical, obstetric, or neonatal characteristics.

Methods: In this single-center retrospective cohort study, we identified women with singleton pregnancies who avoid gluten based on antenatal intake questionnaire responses and inpatient dietary orders, excluding those with celiac disease. Certain demographic, medical, obstetric, and neonatal characteristics were compared to matched controls who do not avoid gluten.

Results: From July 1, 2011 to July 1, 2019, 138 pregnant women who avoid gluten were admitted for delivery of singleton gestations. Compared to controls, gluten-avoidant women had fewer prior pregnancies (p = 0.005), deliveries (p < 0.0005), and living children (p < 0.0005), higher rates of hypothyroidism (OR = 3.22; p = 0.001) and irritable bowel syndrome (OR = 6.00; p = 0.019), higher second trimester hemoglobin (p = 0.018), and lower body mass index at delivery (p = 0.045). Groups did not differ in any obstetric or fetal characteristics.

Conclusions: Gluten avoidance in pregnancy is common and, in women without celiac disease, is associated with higher rates of hypothyroidism and irritable bowel syndrome, fewer pregnancies, term births, and living children, and lower peripartum BMI, but is not associated with any obstetric or neonatal comorbidities. Avoiding gluten does not appear to adversely affect maternal or fetal health, but reasons for gluten avoidance, as well as long-term maternal and pediatric outcomes after gluten avoidance in pregnancy, warrant further study.

© Copyright 2013-2021 GI Health Foundation. All rights reserved.
This site is maintained as an educational resource for US healthcare providers only. Use of this website is governed by the GIHF terms of use and privacy statement.