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COVID-19 May Increase Risk for Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes

MONDAY, March 22, 2021 -- COVID-19 is associated with increased risks for preeclampsia, preterm birth, and other adverse pregnancy outcomes, according to a review published online March 19 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

Shu Qin Wei, M.D., Ph.D., from the Université de Montréal, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review and meta-analysis of data from studies (through Jan. 29, 2021) evaluating the severity of COVID-19 infection during pregnancy.

Based on 42 studies (438,548 pregnant women), the researchers found that COVID-19 was associated with preeclampsia (odds ratio [OR], 1.33), preterm birth (OR, 1.82), and stillbirth (OR, 2.11) compared with women with no severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in pregnancy. Severe COVID-19 was strongly associated with preeclampsia (OR, 4.16), preterm birth (OR, 4.29), gestational diabetes (OR, 1.99), and low birth weight (OR, 1.89) compared with mild SARS-CoV-2 infection.

"Clinicians should be aware of these adverse outcomes when managing pregnancies in patients with COVID-19 and adopt effective strategies to prevent or reduce risks to patients and fetuses," the authors write.

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