COVID in Pregnancy, Higher Odds for ‘Preemie’ Delivery

WEDNESDAY, February 24, 2021 (HealthDay News) – In this era of a pandemic, expectant mothers naturally worry about the risks COVID-19 could pose to their babies. A new study offers some answers.

Pregnant women with COVID-19 may be more likely to have a premature birth. But they don’t have an increased risk of stillbirth or baby death soon after birth, the researchers found.

“The finding that COVID-19 infection does not increase the risk of stillbirth or baby death is reassuring. However, a suspected or confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 was linked to a higher risk of premature birth, and it’s not entirely clear why, “study co-author Dr Christoph Lees said in a press release from Imperial College London. He is professor of obstetrics at the middle School.

The researchers analyzed data from more than 4,000 pregnant women in the US and UK who suspected or confirmed COVID-19 and who gave birth between January and August 2020.

Most of the women did not have pre-existing health problems like diabetes or a respiratory disease like asthma.

None of the women’s babies died from COVID-19, and the women did not have higher than normal rates of stillbirths or low birth weight babies, according to the study.

However, they had an increased risk of premature birth, that is, being born before 37 weeks.

The premature birth rate among American women was nearly 16%, 57% higher than the national average of 10%. The rate was 12% among British women, which is 60% higher than the national average of 7.5%.

Here’s a possible reason for the higher rates of premature births in women with COVID-19: Doctors may have delivered babies earlier due to concerns about how the infection would affect mothers and infants, according to the researchers. They noted that the spontaneous preterm birth rate in the study was lower than expected.

The study supports COVID-19 vaccination efforts, study co-author Ed Mullins said.

“This study supports the prioritization of immunization for women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, as well as existing measures that protect pregnant women from infection, to reduce preterm births,” said Mullins, lecturer in the college department. metabolism, digestion and reproduction.

The results were recently published in the journal Ultrasound in obstetrics and gynecology.

More information

For more information on COVID-19 and pregnancy, consult the World Health Organization.

SOURCE: Imperial College London, press release, February 23, 2021

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