RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS: Edited by John J. Cush and Arthur KavanaughIs pregnancy a risk factor for rheumatic autoimmune diseases?Marder, Wendya,b; Somers, Emily C.a,b,cAuthor Information aDivision of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine bDivision of Maternal and Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Michigan cDepartment of Environmental Health Sciences, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA Correspondence to Wendy Marder, MD, MS, Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Health System, Suite 7C27, 300 North Ingalls Building, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5422, USA. Tel: +1 734 232 1697; fax: +1 734 763 1253; e-mail: [email protected] Current Opinion in Rheumatology: May 2014 - Volume 26 - Issue 3 - p 321-328 doi: 10.1097/BOR.0000000000000047 Buy Metrics Abstract Purpose of review To review the association of pregnancy with the risk of subsequent development of rheumatic autoimmune diseases in women, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic lupus erythematosus, and scleroderma. Recent findings There is a small but growing literature related to the risk of autoimmune rheumatic disease in association with pregnancy history. However, results conflict both in terms of the direction and magnitude of risk of disease in relationship to prior pregnancy history. Although anecdotal evidence tends to favor the premise that pregnancy is protective against certain diseases, such as RA, the heterogeneity of results precludes the ability to confirm an association in either direction. There is indication that time elapsed since pregnancy may influence risk, with the postpartum year being of particular relevance. Summary To date, a clear pattern has not emerged regarding pregnancy and the future risk of autoimmune rheumatic diseases. This topic requires greater study, and given the strong female preponderance of these diseases, future research efforts should seek to resolve this important issue. © 2014 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.