Pregnant women may be at greater risk of being admitted to an intensive care unit or even needing ventilation if they have been infected with the virus, said a researcher at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday.
This new information, which has not yet been published, contradicts some previous research that suggests that pregnant women may not be at higher risk of getting sick enough to need treatment at the ICU if they develop coronary heart disease.
“There may be physiological changes in pregnancy that may increase the risk of serious illness and serious illness has been associated with other viral respiratory infections in pregnant women. However, initial reports were unclear about the impact of Covid on pregnant women,” she said. Sara Oliver of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases of the CDC said during a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices on Wednesday.
Pregnant women, for example, are much more vulnerable to the flu.
From the beginning of the corona pandemic, there was limited data on the risks that pregnant women could face with Covid-19 – if any – but now the new information presented by Oliver at the ACIP meeting adds to the scientific literature. The information will be published in a CDC report on Thursday.
With the numbers: The report includes information on 326,335 women aged 15 to 44 who had a coronavirus infection between January 22 and June 7, Oliver said. There were 8,207 pregnancies among women.
“This new report includes the largest body of pregnant women in the United States with SARS-CoV-2 infection with laboratory confirmation,” Oliver said in a presentation. “Among pregnant women, 31.5% reported hospitalization compared with 5.8% of non-pregnant women.”
“Pregnant women were 50% more likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit and 70% more likely to undergo mechanical ventilation. Sixteen deaths were reported among pregnant women, similar to those of non-pregnant women,” Oliver added.
Oliver noted that a separate analysis had previously found that the risk of ICU admission and mechanical ventilation was actually lower among pregnant women with coronavirus and there was no statistically significant difference in hospital risk of death – so more research is needed.
“More comprehensive data are needed to assess whether SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy is associated with an unwanted pregnancy or neonatal outcome,” Oliver said.
“However, the results of this study suggest an increased risk of ICU and mechanical ventilation being introduced, which are distinct powers for seriousness in pregnant women compared to non-pregnant women,” Oliver said. “However, the absolute risk of clinical interventions is still very low in this population.”