Preterm birth risk higher among pregnant women with COVID-19, study finds

The odds of preterm birth are much higher for pregnant women with COVID-19 than those without the disease, a new study shows.

For the study, published in The BMJ, researchers reviewed 77 studies of pregnant women with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. The studies were published on various online databases, including the Embase and WHO COVID-19 databases, between Dec. 1, 2019, and June 26.

Of the 77 studies, 26 were from the United States, and the others were from several countries, including China and the U.K. The studies included 13,118 pregnant and recently pregnant women with COVID-19, and 83,486 nonpregnant women of reproductive age who also had COVID-19.

Researchers found that the likelihood of preterm birth was about three times higher among pregnant women with COVID-19 compared to nonpregnant women with COVID-19.

The research also shows that the spontaneous preterm birth rate was 6 percent in women with COVID-19, and a quarter of all newborns from mothers with COVID-19 were admitted to the neonatal unit.

In addition, compared to nonpregnant women with COVID-19, pregnant and recently pregnant women were less likely to report symptoms of fever and myalgia, more likely to need admission to an intensive care unit and more likely to require invasive ventilation.

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