Incidence and Outcomes of COVID-19 Hospitalisation in Pregnancy

Pavankumar Kamat

May 10, 2021

The majority of pregnant women are unlikely to experience severe complications of COVID-19, according to a new study published in  PLoS One. The study also identified certain risk factors associated with COVID-19 hospitalisation in pregnancy.

An ongoing nationwide prospective cohort study included hospitalised pregnant women with confirmed COVID-19 infection identified through the UK Obstetric Surveillance System. The current analysis reports characteristics and outcomes of women hospitalised during the first wave of COVID-19 in the UK.

The estimated incidence of hospitalisation with symptomatic COVID-19 infection in pregnant women was 2.0 (95% CI, 1.9-2.2) per 1000 maternities and for asymptomatic COVID-19 infection was 1.2 (95% CI, 1.1-1.4) per 1000 maternities. Hospitalised pregnant women with symptomatic COVID-19 infection had higher odds of intensive care admission.

Pregnant women hospitalised with symptomatic COVID-19 infection versus pregnant women without COVID-19 had a higher likelihood of being overweight or obese;  having Black, Asian or other minority ethnicity; and having a relevant comorbidity, including asthma and hypertension.

In terms of pregnancy outcomes, there was an increased risk of caesarean births and neonatal unit admission, irrespective of maternal symptom status. However, the risks of stillbirth or neonatal death did not increase significantly, irrespective of symptom status.

The authors stated: "Risks could be minimized where possible through pre-pregnancy optimization of weight and medical co-morbidities. Further research is required to determine why women of Black, Asian and Other minority ethnicity are disproportionately affected and how to minimize the impact of this through care provision."

Vousden N, Bunch K, Morris E, Simpson N, Gale C, O'Brien P, Quigley M, Brocklehurst P, Kurinczuk JJ, Knight M. The incidence, characteristics and outcomes of pregnant women hospitalized with symptomatic and asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection in the UK from March to September 2020: A national cohort study using the UK Obstetric Surveillance System (UKOSS). PLoS One. 2021;16(5):e0251123. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0251123. PMID: 33951100

This article originally appeared on Univadis, part of the Medscape Professional Network.

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