Research links COVID-19 during pregnancy to stillbirth
Pregnant women with COVID-19 face a greater chance Stillbirth New government data shows that this risk soars to four times after the emergence of delta variants compared to uninfected women.
The Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report on Friday that examined 1.2 million births in 736 hospitals across the country from March 2020 to September 2021.
Overall, stillbirths are rare, with 8,154 cases in all deliveries. But researchers have found that for women with COVID-19, about 1 in 80 births will result in stillbirth. Among uninfected people, this ratio is one in 155.
Among COVID-19 patients, stillbirth is more common in people with chronic hypertension and other complications, including those in the intensive care unit or on a ventilator.
“These findings emphasize the importance of COVID-19 prevention strategies, including vaccination before or during pregnancy,” said CDC researcher Carla DeSisto and co-authors.
There is no information on how many people were vaccinated against COVID-19, although the author pointed out that after delta appeared last summer, the vaccination rate for pregnant women in the United States was 30%.
Pregnant women with COVID-19 are more likely to develop serious or even fatal diseases than others, and they face a higher risk of preterm birth and other complications. Previous studies on stillbirth and COVID-19 have mixed results, but the report reinforces the concerns and anecdotal data of obstetricians.
Professor Dr. Mark Turrentine of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston said that although the absolute risk of stillbirth is very low, anyone who is pregnant should not underestimate the risk of COVID-19. He helped write the recommendations of the American Academy of Obstetrics and Gynecology on COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy.
“What’s really sad is that we have a 10-month high-efficiency vaccine, but we can’t convince people to take advantage of this,” Turrentine said.
Some experts speculate that the virus may cause inflammation of the placenta or other abnormal conditions that may harm the fetus.
Dr. Joseph Biggio, a high-risk pregnancy expert at Ochsner Health in New Orleans, said the study did not prove that COVID-19 caused stillbirth. He said that some women may be so ill that the doctor who tried to keep them alive “cannot intervene on behalf of the fetus they know is problematic.”
The researchers relied on medical records and pointed out that they were unable to determine whether the COVID-19 diagnosis listed at the time of delivery represented a current or past infection.
Generally speaking, stillbirth is more common among blacks, people over 35 who are pregnant, or people who smoke during pregnancy.
The study does not include pregnancy results by race, and the authors stated that they plan to investigate this area in future studies, “because COVID-19 has a disproportionate impact on many races and ethnic minorities, making them more likely to get sick and die. ”’