Pregnant women and their developing babies are at increased risk of serious consequences if infected with Covid-19. A large international review now highlights just how devastating these risks are.
This study utilizes data from 12 studies from many countries, including the United States. Overall, the study included more than 13,000 pregnant women of hers, about 2,000 of whom had confirmed or probable cases of Covid-19 of hers. The health status of these women and babies was compared to nearly 11,000 pregnancies in which the mothers tested negative for Covid-19 or antibodies to it at the time of delivery.
Across the study, approximately 3% of pregnant women with Covid-19 required intensive care and approximately 4% required emergency care of any kind, compared to those requiring such care outside of Covid-19. was much higher than the number of pregnant women who 19 infection.
Compared to uninfected pregnant individuals, those infected with Covid-19 were nearly four times more likely to be admitted to an intensive care unit. They were 15 times more likely to be ventilated and he was 7 times more likely to die. They also had an increased risk of problems with pre-eclampsia, blood clots, and high blood pressure. Babies born to mothers infected with Covid-19 were at increased risk of premature birth and low birth weight.
Previous studies have suggested that Covid-19 may increase the risk of stillbirth, but this study did not find the same association.
Still, the findings provide a clear picture of how Covid-19 infection amplifies the risk of pregnancy.
“It’s very clear and even consistent. Whether we’re talking about Sweden or not, in Sweden, compared to other countries that have big problems with maternal morbidity and mortality, COVID-19. And we know that pregnancy increases the risk for both mother and baby,” said Emily Smith, lead author of the study and assistant professor of international health at George Washington University.
This study has several caveats that may limit the applicability of the findings to pregnant individuals in the Omicron age.
First, the study was conducted relatively early in the pandemic and most people had not yet been vaccinated or infected. That is, people who participated in this study were at risk not only because they were pregnant, but also because they were immunologically naïve to the virus and did not have pre-existing immunity to help fight off infection. This means that there is a high probability that
Since then, many pregnant women have been vaccinated, contracted Covid-19, or both. By the first week of January, approximately 72% of pregnant women in the United States had have a primary series of the Covid-19 vaccine, and about 95% of Americans Presumed Have at least one Covid-19 infection or have been vaccinated, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That means they likely have an immune memory for the virus, which could help prevent serious consequences.
However, that immune memory seems to fade over time. Only 19% of pregnant women are using the latest boosters, according to CDC data, and many may not be as protected from the virus as they think they are.
Emily Smith, lead author of the study and assistant professor of international health at George Washington University, said the study’s findings reflect Covid-19 and pregnancy risks among unvaccinated people.
Unfortunately, many countries still do not have clear guidelines to recommend vaccination during pregnancy.
For those trying to weigh the risks and benefits of Covid-19 vaccination during pregnancy, Smith says the study will help tip the scales firmly on the side of vaccination.
“It’s worth protecting yourself during pregnancy,” Smith said.
She said the study didn’t look at the benefits of vaccination during pregnancy, but other studies have shown a significant reduction in the risk of stillbirth, premature birth, severe illness and death in mothers. .
“And it’s kind of a complementary story,” said Smith.
Dr. Justin Rappen, director of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, praised the study, saying its findings echo previous studies that found Covid-19 significantly increases the risk of serious outcomes for mothers and babies. He said he would strengthen and move forward. He was not involved in research.
He said the findings underscore the importance of Covid-19 prevention and treatment in pregnant women.
In an email to CNN, Rappen wrote that indicated or recommended treatments should not be withheld, especially because of pregnancy or breastfeeding.
of study Published in the journal BMJ Global Health.