Covid-19 Study From Oxford, UC Berkeley Finds Higher Risk To Pregnant Women Than Previously Known
Researchers at UC Berkeley and Oxford University have found a significantly higher risk of severe complications than previously known for pregnant women with COVID-19 and for their newborns.
The study released last week found that women who had COVID-19 and displayed symptoms of the virus during their pregnancy were more than 50 percent more likely to experience complications compared to non-infected pregnant women. Those complications include premature birth, preeclampsia, admission to intensive care and death.
The study found that the largest risk is premature birth, where newborns of infected women are nearly three times more at risk of severe medical concerns.
The study was published recently by the Journal of the American Medical Association in JAMA Pediatrics. It included 2,100 pregnant women in 43 maternity hospitals across 18 countries worldwide.
Despite low numbers of deaths among the patients, the risk of dying was 22 times higher for the women who had symptomatic COVID. The good news is that the study also found that pregnant women who had symptomless COVID infections had very similar results as non-infected pregnant women.
The study found the impact on newborns was less significant than on their mothers. While babies born to mothers who had symptomatic COVID-19 were more likely to develop complications, less than 13 percent tested positive within the first few days of birth. In addition, breastfeeding did not appear to increase the risk of infection.