Science

Covid-19 risk could be 70% higher in pregnant women: Study

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on February 17, 2021 Published on February 17, 2021

New study has revealed that pregnant women are at an elevated risk of contracting Covid-19.

The study, published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, stated that the risk for contracting coronavirus is 70 per cent higher among pregnant women than in similarly aged adults in Washington, United States.

Researcher Kristina Adams Waldorf from the University of Washington in the US said in a statement, “Our data indicates that pregnant people did not avoid the pandemic as we hoped that they would.”

She added, “The higher infection rates in pregnant patients, coupled with an elevated risk for severe illness and maternal mortality due to Covid-19, suggests that pregnancy should be considered a high-risk health condition for Covid-19 vaccine allocation in Phase 1B all across the US.”

Methodology

For the study, the research team involved 35 hospitals and clinics. The group identified 240 pregnant women who acquired Covid-19 from March through June 2020.

This number represented all such known cases at the collaborating sites, which account for 61 per cent of births in the state each year, the study noted.

Lead researcher Waldorf also asked pregnant women to discuss the risks and benefits of Covid-19 vaccination with their prenatal care provider.

“We want to use information from this study to be more prepared for the next pandemic and to not brush pregnant women to the side. They need to have a seat at the table when it comes to vaccine trials and vaccine allocation,” she further stated.

Emily H. Adhikari, MD, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, also said in an interview with Healio that pregnant women with severe Covid-19 illness are at increased risk for pre-term birth and pregnancy loss.

“Pregnant women may also be at higher risk for severe illness and death from Covid-19 than non-pregnant women of similar age,” she added.

Adhikari has recently written a paper on Covid-19 impact on pregnant women, which was published in the journal JAMA.

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Published on February 17, 2021
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