HealthDay News — Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk for maternal death, maternal morbidities, and neonatal morbidity, according to research published online Jan. 16 in BMJ Global Health.
Emily R. Smith, Sc.D., M.P.H., from The George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health in Washington, D.C., and colleagues screened ongoing studies in a prospective meta-analysis. Individual participant data were pooled to estimate the absolute and relative risks for adverse outcomes among pregnant women with SARS-CoV-2 infection. A total of 137 studies were screened, and 12 studies from 12 countries with 13,136 pregnant women were included.
The researchers found that compared with uninfected pregnant women, those with SARS-CoV-2 infection had a significantly increased risk for maternal mortality, admission to the intensive care unit, receiving mechanical ventilation, receiving any critical care, and being diagnosed with pneumonia and thromboembolic disease (relative risks, 7.68, 3.81, 15.23, 5.48, 23.46, and 5.50, respectively). Neonates born to women with SARS-CoV-2 infection had an increased likelihood of admission to a neonatal care unit after birth, being born preterm or moderately preterm, and being born at low birth weight (relative risks, 1.86, 1.71, 2.92, and 1.19, respectively). There was no association seen for infection with stillbirth. The risk for bias was generally low or moderate.
“These findings underscore the need for global efforts to prevent COVID-19 during pregnancy through targeted administration of vaccines and nonpharmaceutical interventions,” the authors write.
Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.