Objective: To determine whether maternal multiple sclerosis (MS) is associated with increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes in an East Asian country by using a nationwide population-based dataset. Method: This study linked two nationwide population-based datasets, the birth certificate registry and the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Dataset. We identified a total of 174 women who gave birth from 2001 to 2003, who were diagnosed with MS within the 2 years preceding the index deliveries, together with 1,392 matched women without chronic disease as a comparison cohort. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed for estimation. Results: We found that compared with healthy mothers, MS was independently associated with a 2.25-fold risk of preterm birth (95% CI = 1.37-3.70) and a 1.89-fold (95% CI = 1.30-2.76) higher risk of babies small for gestational age, after adjusting for family income and maternal, paternal, and infant characteristics. Mothers with MS were also more likely to have cesarean deliveries. Conclusion: Our study documents increased the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes for mothers with MS, highlighting a need for more intensive monitoring and obstetric care during pregnancy. Future studies should explore the distinct manifestations and mechanisms of MS in diverse ethnic groups, so more complete information can be provided to affected women concerning pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)606-612
Number of pages7
JournalMultiple Sclerosis
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Pregnancy outcome
  • Preterm birth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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