RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS: Edited by John J. Cush and Arthur KavanaughConsiderations in using registry and health plan data for studying pregnancy in rheumatic diseasesZhang, Jiea,b; Curtis, Jeffrey R.a,bAuthor Information aDepartment of Epidemiology bDivision of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama, USA Correspondence to Jeffrey R. Curtis, MD, MS, MPH, 510 20th Street South, Faculty Office Towers 802D, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA. Tel: +1 205 975 2176; e-mail: [email protected] Current Opinion in Rheumatology: May 2014 - Volume 26 - Issue 3 - p 315-320 doi: 10.1097/BOR.0000000000000056 Buy Metrics Abstract Purpose of review The purpose of this review is to critically evaluate the strengths and limitations of different data sources for pregnancy-related research in patients with rheumatic diseases. We describe challenges in studying adverse pregnancy outcomes in the setting of observational research, with a particular focus on the studies of maternal drug exposures. Recent findings We discuss potential threats to validity in the assessment of exposure and outcomes and controlling for confounding; present findings from selected pregnancy-related observational studies conducted using data from registries and health plans; and highlight future research opportunities for pregnancy research. Summary Registry and health plan data contribute complementary information to each other. Used together, linked data sources may allow clinicians, researchers, and patients to obtain a more complete understanding of the risk and benefits associated with maternal drug exposure and of the risk factors associated with adverse birth outcomes in women with rheumatic disease. © 2014 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.