COVID-19 can increase death risk in pregnant women

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In a new study, researchers found that contracting COVID-19 while pregnant can have deadly consequences for the mother.

They found that the COVID-19 mortality rate in pregnant women was much higher when compared to the COVID-19 mortality rate in similarly aged people within Washington state.

The research was conducted by a team at the University of Washington.

The study followed 240 pregnant women between March and June 2020.

The team made several comparisons between the clinical course of COVID-19 and Influenza A virus H1N1 2009.

Unlike the influenza A virus H1N1 2009 pandemic, when pregnant women were quickly identified in the United States as a high-risk and vulnerable group, pregnancy was not identified as a high-risk condition for COVID-19 disease or mortality for the first, critical eight months of the pandemic.

The team found that pregnant women with COVID-19 had a 3.5 times higher COVID-19 hospitalization rate than the similarly aged general population in Washington state.

COVID-19 mortality rates were 13 times higher in pregnant mothers than in similarly aged individuals.

This said, most of the pregnant patients with COVID-19 had asymptomatic or mild COVID-19 disease and healthy pregnancies.

Of the 240 pregnant women with SARS-CoV-2 infections detected through June, three died from COVID-19, while 24 patients were hospitalized for COVID-19.

Overall, the data in this study indicates that pregnant patients are at risk for severe or critical disease or mortality compared with non-pregnant adults, as well as for preterm birth, the report concludes.

These results suggest that the exclusion of pregnant patients from COVID-19 vaccine trials was a mistake, the team says.

One author of the study is Dr. Kristina Adams Waldorf.

The study is published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

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