Research Areas: Pregnancy, asthma, women’s health, paediatrics

Investigators: Dr Vanessa Murphy, Prof Peter Gibson

Location: HMRI Building or John Hunter Hospital.

Additional sites: This is a multi-centre trial and is being conducted at the Royal Hospital for Women in Randwick, the Nepean Hospital, the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, and the Royal North Shore Hospital.

Project Title: The Breathing for Life Trial (BLT): a randomised trial of fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FENO)-based management of asthma during pregnancy and its impact on perinatal outcomes and infant and childhood respiratory health.

Purpose of the Study: Asthma affects more than 12% of pregnant women in Australia, and these women have an increased risk of poor pregnancy outcomes such as preterm birth and hospitalisation of the newborn. Better management of asthma in pregnancy may significantly reduce the impact of these major adverse outcomes on the offspring. The Breathing for Life Trial will test the hypothesis that using a simple breath test to measure lung inflammation (FENO) to adjust asthma medication in pregnancy will be superior to usual care in improving maternal and perinatal health, and have long term benefits to the offspring. We wish to investigate the response to this management approach in both women who smoke and women who do not smoke.

Participant Tasks: Participants will be randomly allocated to the control group (usual care) or the intervention group (FENO-based management). Women in the control group will have one visit at HMRI or the JHH for some breathing tests and to be provided with asthma self-management education. Management of their asthma will be with their usual primary care provider. Women in the FENO group will have visits every 3-6 weeks during pregnancy for breathing tests, asthma self-management education and every 2 visits will have their medication adjusted based on the results of their FENO breathing test and the asthma control questionnaire. Participants in both groups will be telephoned after delivery to obtain information about asthma flare-ups during pregnancy, and will have the option to have their infant followed up in Respiratory and Development studies.

Participant Criteria: Doctor diagnosed asthma, 18 years of age or older, 12-22 weeks gestation, smokers and non-smokers.

For more information about this study, please contact Kelly Steel

Phone: (02) 4042 0130