HealthDay News — Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is associated with an increased risk for serious maternal morbidity or mortality, according to a study published online Feb. 7 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Torri D. Metz, M.D., from the University of Utah Health in Salt Lake City, and colleagues conducted a retrospective study involving 14,104 pregnant and postpartum patients delivered between March 1 and Dec. 31, 2020, to examine the association between SARS-CoV-2 infection and serious maternal morbidity or mortality. Of the participants, 2,352 had SARS-CoV-2 infection and 11,752 did not have a positive SARS-CoV-2 test result.

The researchers found that SARS-CoV-2 infection was significantly associated with the primary outcome, which was a composite of maternal death or serious morbidity related to hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, postpartum hemorrhage, or infection other than SARS-CoV-2, compared with those without a positive SARS-CoV-2 result (13.4 versus 9.2 percent; adjusted relative risk [aRR], 1.41). There were five maternal deaths, all in the SARS-CoV-2 group. There was no significant association observed for SARS-CoV-2 infection with cesarean birth. Moderate or higher COVID-19 severity was significantly associated with the primary outcome compared with those without a positive SARS-CoV-2 test result (26.1 versus 9.2 percent; aRR, 2.06) and was associated with cesarean birth (45.5 versus 32.4 percent; aRR, 1.17), whereas mild or asymptomatic infection was not significantly associated with the primary outcome or with cesarean birth.


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“The complications of pregnancy we observed were mostly in people who had moderate-to-severe symptoms of COVID-19,” Metz said in a statement. “We know from other studies that vaccination prevents the most severe symptoms of the disease. So, this is just another piece of the puzzle that should encourage pregnant people to get vaccinated.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical and medical technology companies, including Pfizer.

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