COVID-19 infection linked to rise in serious pregnancy complications, U. study finds


Dr. Torri Metz, an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Utah, shares the results of her pregnancy study with COVID-19, which she led at a virtual briefing on Monday. This study found that COVID-19 increases the likelihood of serious complications during pregnancy. (University of Utah Health)

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Salt Lake City — Pregnant women infected with the causative virus COVID-19 (new coronavirus infection) A new study led by Utah researchers shows that pregnant women who are not infected with the coronavirus are nearly 40% more likely to develop serious complications or die during pregnancy. I am.

This report is an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Utah, U. It is led by Dr. Torri Metz, Vice-Chairman of Health’s Obstetrics and Gynecology Research. Published on Monday It is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study also found that newborns were at high risk of preterm birth and hospitalization in the intensive care unit.

“Overall, there was an increased risk of this among patients who developed SARS-CoV-2 during pregnancy, so I think we can always say that. Indeed, people are SARS-. You should avoid developing CoV-2 during pregnancy, or really at any time, “she said during a briefing with the media on Monday.

“The most important thing in this study was what we knew about the complications of pregnancy associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection,” she continued, with more serious consequences related to COVID in the new study. I pointed out that it turned out to be. -19 from common pregnancy complications that were not previously reported.

The results are based on a review of 14,104 patients in 17 different US hospitals from March 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020. That is, all data are based on the original SARS-CoV-2 strain, not a delta or omicron variant. Since the end of 2020, each has risen globally. Of that large cluster, only 2,352 pregnant women were infected with COVID-19 during that period.

According to Mets, teams of researchers from various institutions across the country analyzed the results of patients infected with COVID-19 during pregnancy or shortly after childbirth and those who did not. They also scrutinized the subgroups among people infected with COVID-19.

She said that the team has a serious morbidity rate, mainly due to “general affairs during pregnancy” such as maternal mortality and high blood pressure, postpartum bleeding, or other infections not related to COVID-19. Said that he is focusing on mortality.

“That is, if someone has postpartum bleeding, the disease has progressed to something more serious than we usually see, and eventually surgical intervention, radiation therapy, or other higher levels. Did you need intervention? ”She explained that adding these types of complications would occur in 10-20% of all pregnancies.

Previous studies, including a study conducted by Mets, have shown that pregnant women infected with COVID-19 are more likely to be severely affected, including death and admission to the intensive care unit.

She was the Principal Investigator for a study presented at the Maternal-Fetal Medicine Society In early 2021 Females with more severe COVID-19 symptoms were found to be at higher risk of complications and death than females without symptoms or with mild or moderate symptoms. But the study was much smaller. We focused only on information from 1,200 pregnant women in 33 hospitals in 14 states from March 1, 2020 to July 31, 2020.

Despite previous studies, Mets said he was a little surprised by the information from the broader field of data in the new study.

The biggest difference is that the new study is deeply involved in common complications other than COVID-19, such as hypertension and postpartum bleeding, compared to previous studies. The impact of COVID-19 on these complications has not been previously linked. We also found that women with moderate or worsened COVID-19 symptoms were most likely to deal with more serious pregnancy complications.

“Even though this study adds that it’s common during pregnancy … People with SARS-CoV-2 are actually at risk of progressing to something more with these common complications. I think it’s getting higher. It’s going to be a life-threatening or really serious illness. “

It is not yet clear why SARS-CoV-2 affects pregnant women. This study cites the timing of infection as one of the limitations. Researchers say it’s difficult to assess the effects of the virus in early pregnancy because about 80% of the pregnant women’s infections surveyed occur late in pregnancy.

They have several theories. Coronavirus can affect the placenta, which can cause “downstream consequences” or delay pregnant women seeking medical help after infection, Mets said.

She says future research can be seen to find the exact link. Future studies will also be able to investigate long-term health effects, vaccination status, pregnancy outcomes, and SARS-CoV-2 subspecies-based changes.

In the meantime, she argues that results continue to show that pregnant women need to be careful not to develop mild or severe COVID-19 cases. That is why she recommends pregnant women to look for drugs that have been medically proven to reduce the severity of COVID-19 infections.

Utah Department of Health Revised COVID-19 Hospitalization Risk Assessment last month, After being determined not to be one of the highest risks, she discontinued her pregnancy as an automatic admission eligibility. It’s unclear if the study published on Monday will change that position in any way.

Mets also recommends that pregnant women be vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine to help avoid mild or severe infections.

“I think this is more evidence to support that pregnant patients really want to be vaccinated, and treatment to prevent the progression of pregnant patients to higher disease severity. I want you to receive it, “she said.

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