Grant recipient

Mette Julsgaard

Fetal exposure to maternal inflammatory bowel disease and treatment hereof: Impact on pregnancy outcome, anemia, infections and child development
Grant amount: DKK 9,996,490

Mette Julsgaard says: “Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are chronic conditions of the gastrointestinal tract that are diagnosed in the fertile age. Immunosuppressive drugs are used to induce remission, also in pregnancy, but may also have negative effects on fetal outcome. Pregnancy requires increased iron for fetal development. IBD itself may negatively impact iron availability but its influence on neonatal outcomes and development is unknown. The aim is to study the safety of immunosuppressive drug exposure in pregnancy on the fetus, and the impact of potential iron restriction on neonatal outcomes and development. By analyzing nationwide registers, neonatal dried blood spots, prospective collecting maternal and infant blood samples, and conducting patients surveys the project will answer fundamental questions, which will lead to improved care of women with IBD and other autoimmune disorders. Overall, it may improve maternal- and fetal outcome by influencing the management of iron disorders in pregnancy.”

Mette Julsgaard has the last 15 years focused her research on investigating treatment of pregnant inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients and outcomes in their offspring. She is currently doing her specialist training in Gastroenterology & Hepatology at the Dept. of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, at Aarhus University Hospital. She further states: “This funding will permit me to increase my research efforts and allow me to establish a research group. Moreover, it will lay the foundation for a National Danish IBD Preconception and Pregnancy Planning Clinic at Aarhus University Hospital, which is crucial in providing the best possible evidence-based treatment and equal care for pregnant IBD patients in Denmark.”

Mette Julsgaard
Mette Julsgaard
Senior Resident, Dept. of Gastroenterology, Aarhus University Hospital