Increased Incidence of Guillain-Barré Syndrome Postpartum

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Abstract

We studied the relation between pregnancy and Guillain-Barré syndrome in the Swedish female population ages 15–49 years during the period 1978–1993. Person-based information from the national Hospital In-patient Registry on patients discharged with a diagnosis of Guillain-Barré syndrome was linked to data on pregnancy and delivery from the Swedish Medical Birth Registry. We validated coded Guillain-Barré syndrome diagnoses and the time periods of clinical onset for patients hospitalized with Guillain-Barré syndrome during pregnancy or during the first 90-day postpartum period. We compared the incidence of Guillain-Barré syndrome in women in different exposure categories related to pregnancy with that in women neither pregnant nor in the 90-day postpartum period. Poisson regression analysis yielded age-adjusted rate ratios of 0.89 [95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.52–1.53] for pregnant women, 1.37 (95% CI = 0.64–2.91) for women during the first 90 days, and 2.93 (95% CI = 1.20–7.11) during the first 30 days after delivery. Our results indicate that the risk of Guillain-Barré syndrome increases after delivery, particularly during the first 2 weeks postpartum. (Epidemiology 1998; 9:601–604)

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