Study finds COVID-19 may double severe complications in pregnancy

pharmafile | March 23, 2022 | News story | Research and Development  

A Kaiser Permanente analysis of pregnant patients who tested positive for COVID-19 found more than double the risk of severe maternal morbidity associated with coronavirus during pregnancy.

The study found a more than double risk of poor outcomes, including preterm birth, venous thromboembolism (blood clot), and severe maternal morbidity, which includes conditions such as acute respiratory distress syndrome and sepsis.

The research was published in JAMA Internal Medicine March 21. An analysis of records for 43,886 pregnant individuals during the first year of the pandemic found that the 1,332 who had a COVID infection during pregnancy had more than double the risk of negative outcomes compared with individuals without the virus.

“These findings add to the growing evidence that having COVID-19 during pregnancy raises risks of serious complications,” commented lead author Assiamira Ferrara, MD, PhD, a senior research scientist and associate director of the women’s and children health section in the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research.

“Coupled with the evidence that the COVID-19 vaccines are safe during pregnancy, these findings should aid patients in understanding the risks of perinatal complications and the need for vaccination,” said Dr Ferrara. “This study supports the recommendation for vaccination of pregnant individuals and those planning conceptions.”

“Our study was large, diverse, and supports the need for vaccination by pregnant individuals and those who plan to get pregnant,” added co-author Mara Greenberg, MD, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist with The Permanente Medical Group. “The most important thing people can do to protect themselves and their baby is to get vaccinated.”

Lina Adams

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