BBB Research: Breathe-Wellbeing, Environment, Lifestyle, and Lung Function (B-WELL-Mom) Study

B-WELL-Mom Study logoThe B-WELL-Mom Study, a multicenter prospective cohort study, aims to increase understanding of factors that predict poor asthma control during pregnancy, and that add to our knowledge of the basic immunology of pregnancy.

Asthma is a common chronic disease. It affects about 9 out of 100 pregnant women and is associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes. We know that one-third of all pregnant women with asthma experience worsening symptoms throughout pregnancy, while one-third improve. However, the reason for this change is not known.

The maternal immune response to pregnancy suggests that humoral immune responses are preserved, and that allergy may be an important predictor in determining the clinical course of pregnant women with asthma. We will examine in-depth immune function and lung inflammation to assess the impact of immune regulatory processes throughout pregnancy and the postpartum period that may be associated with changes in asthma control. Daily exposure to air pollutants provides another challenge to the maternal immune system, both for women with and without asthma. Among asthmatics, the change in severity/control may be differentially affected by external factors including air pollution and dietary antioxidants.

This study will recruit a total of 500 women in their first trimester of pregnancy (less than 14 weeks gestation) and follows them through 4 months postpartum. Recruitment will target 200 women with good asthma control and 200 women with poorly controlled asthma in the year prior to pregnancy, in addition to 100 non-asthmatic women.

The B-WELL-Mom Study is being conducted in collaboration with two clinical centers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and Northwestern University; a Data Coordinating Center at the Emmes Corporation; the NICHD Repository; and a laboratory.

More than 400 women are enrolled and more than 300 of them had delivered by June 2018.  Enrollment will end in August 2018 and postpartum follow-up visits are expected to end in September 2019. 

Principal Investigator

Zhen Chen, Ph.D.

Division Collaborators

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