Death rate low for pregnant women hospitalized with COVID-19, study finds

Pregnant women hospitalized with COVID-19 had lower death rates than women who were not pregnant, according to a study published May 11 in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Researchers analyzed outcomes of women ages 15 to 45 hospitalized with COVID-19 at 853 U.S. hospitals between April and November 2020. The study included 1,062 pregnant and 9,815 nonpregnant women. Researchers limited the study population to patients diagnosed with COVID-19 and viral pneumonia to rule out asymptomatic cases.

About 0.8 percent of pregnant women died in the hospital, compared to 3.5 percent of nonpregnant women. Among patients who required intensive care, 3.5 percent of pregnant women died compared to 14.9 percent of nonpregnant women. 

Of the nine pregnant women who died, eight were Latino or Black, six were obese and seven had at least one comorbidity. 

These findings contradict the CDC's current stance that pregnant women are at a high risk of developing severe complications from COVID-19.

"We had expected to confirm the results of the CDC and other U.S. researchers showing that pregnancy increases the risk for dying from COVID-19," study author Beth Pineles, MD, PhD, a maternal-fetal medicine fellow at UTHealth's McGovern Medical School in Houston, said in a news release. "However, once we compared our results to data from the U.K. and reviewed the CDC reports more carefully, we found confirmation that our results were likely to represent the true risks of COVID-19 in these populations, despite the limitation of pregnant women being younger and healthier than non-pregnant women."

To view the full study, click here.

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