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Risk for Hospitalization Up for Pregnant Women With COVID-19

THURSDAY, June 25, 2020 -- Among women of reproductive age with COVID-19, pregnant women are more likely to be hospitalized and to be admitted to the intensive care unit, according to research published in the June 26 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Sascha Ellington, Ph.D., from the CDC COVID-19 Emergency Response Team, and colleagues assessed the prevalence and severity of COVID-19 among pregnant U.S. women. Data on pregnancy status were available for 91,412 women with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 infections, 9.0 percent of whom were pregnant.

The researchers found that the frequencies of cough and shortness of breath (>50 and 30 percent, respectively) were similar for symptomatic pregnant and nonpregnant women with COVID-19, while headache, muscle aches, fever, chills, and diarrhea were less frequently reported by pregnant women. Among pregnant versus nonpregnant women, chronic lung disease, diabetes mellitus, and cardiovascular disease were more commonly reported. Overall, 31.5 and 5.8 percent of pregnant and nonpregnant women with COVID-19, respectively, were hospitalized. Pregnant women were significantly more likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit and receive mechanical ventilation, after adjustment for age, underlying medical conditions, and race/ethnicity (adjusted risk ratios, 1.5 and 1.7, respectively). COVID-19-related deaths were reported in 0.2 percent of pregnant women and 0.2 percent of nonpregnant women.

"The new data released today suggest a different level of risk for pregnant patients than was previously indicated by earlier data," Christopher M. Zahn, M.D., vice president of practice activities for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), said in a statement. "In keeping with our evidence-based approach, ACOG is reviewing all of our clinical materials and patient resources related to COVID-19 in light of newly available information and will make any necessary revisions to recommendations."

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Posted: June 2020