HealthDay News — Pregnant women with COVID-19 are less likely to report symptoms but are more likely to require intensive care unit admission compared with nonpregnant women of reproductive age, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis published online Sept. 1 in The BMJ.
John Allotey, Ph.D., from the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, and colleagues examined the clinical manifestations, risk factors, and maternal and perinatal outcomes in pregnant women with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 by performing a meta-analysis of data from 77 studies to date in a living systematic review.
The researchers found that 10 percent of pregnant and recently pregnant women attending or admitted to the hospital for any reason were diagnosed with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. Pregnant and recently pregnant women with COVID-19 were less likely to report symptoms of fever and myalgia compared with nonpregnant women of reproductive age (odds ratios, 0.43 and 0.48, respectively); however, they were more likely to require admission to an intensive care unit and more likely to require invasive ventilation (odds ratios, 1.62 and 1.88, respectively). Overall, any-cause death was reported for 73 pregnant women with confirmed COVID-19 (0.1 percent). Preexisting maternal comorbidity was a risk factor for intensive care unit admission and invasive ventilation (odds ratios, 4.21 and 4.48, respectively). The odds of any preterm birth were increased for pregnant women with COVID-19 versus those without (odds ratio, 3.01). Neonates born to mothers with COVID-19 were at increased risk for neonatal unit admission (odds ratio, 3.13).
“Clinicians will need to balance the need for regular multidisciplinary antenatal care to manage women with pre-existing comorbidities against unnecessary exposure to the virus, through virtual clinic appointments when possible,” the authors write.