Infectious Disease

COVID-19 throughout being pregnant, not related to stillbirth or toddler loss of life

March 09, 2021

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Maternal COVID-19 infection during pregnancy was not associated with an increased risk of stillbirth or early infant death, according to a study published in Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

“To find that COVID-19 infection does not increase the risk of stillbirth or child death is reassuring.” Christoph Lees, MD, In a press release it says professor of obstetrics and head of the department of fetal medicine at the Center for Fetal Care of the NHS Trust of Imperial College Healthcare in the UK. “However, a suspected or confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 was associated with a higher risk of premature birth, and it’s not entirely clear why.”

Reference: Mullins E, et al. Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2021; doi: 10.1002 / uog.23619.

Lees and colleagues analyzed data from the PAN-COVID registry, which includes pregnant women with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 at any point in their pregnancy in the UK, as well as the US American Academy of Pediatrics’ National Perinatal COVID division of neonatal perinatal medicine -19 registry (AAP SONPM) that includes pregnancies in which the mother tested positive for COVID-19 from 2 weeks before delivery to 3 days after delivery.

Both registries collected information on maternal, fetal, perinatal, and neonatal outcomes.

The study assessed a total of 4,005 women with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 – 1,606 from the PAN-COVID cohort and 2,399 from the AAP SONPM cohort.

Lees and colleagues found that maternal death occurred in 0.5% of women in the PAN-COVID group overall, 0.5% of women in the PAN-COVID group with confirmed COVID-19 infection, and 0 , 2% of women in the AAP SONPM group.

In addition, they found that early neonatal deaths occurred in 0.2% of pregnancies in the PAN-COVID group as a whole, 0.3% in the PAN-COVID confirmed infection group, and 0.3% in of the AAP SONPM group.

According to the researchers, stillbirth occurred in 0.5% of pregnancies in the PAN-COVID group overall, in 0.6% of pregnancies in the PAN-COVID group with confirmed infection, and in 0.4% of pregnancies in the AAP SONPM Group.

Lees and colleagues found that premature birth – defined as delivery before the 37th week of pregnancy – occurred in 12% of women in the PAN-COVID group, 16.2% of women in the PAN-COVID group with confirmed infection, and 15% , 7% of the women in the PAN-COVID group occurred the AAP SONPM group.

Neonatal COVID-19 infection occurred in 0.8% of pregnancies in the PAN-COVID group, 2% in the PAN-COVID group with confirmed infection, and 1.8% in the AAP-SONPM.

The researchers found that the increased rate of premature births in women in the study may have been influenced by providers’ decision to deliver infants early in order to prevent possible morbidities of mothers or infants with COVID-19 infection.

“The results of the study that women who became infected with COVID-19 during pregnancy are not at increased risk of stillbirth and premature death of the newborn are comforting.” Fiona Watt, Executive Chairman of the Medical Research Council in the UK, said in the press release. “The study, however, underscores the need for further research to determine whether or how COVID-19 affects maternal outcomes or premature birth.”

References:

Newswise. COVID-19 infection in pregnancy that is not associated with stillbirth or baby death. https://www.newswise.com/coronavirus/covid-19-infection-in-pregnancy-not-linked-with-still-birth-or-baby-death/. Accessed March 5, 2021.

Mullins E et al. Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2021; DOI: 10.1002 / uog.23619.

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