Maternal COVID-19 Infection Increases Risks of Preterm Birth, Low Birth Weight and Stillbirth
People who contracted COVID-19 while pregnant were more likely to have poor birth outcomes including preterm birth, small for gestational age, low birth weight, and stillbirth. The poor outcomes of preterm birth and stillbirth were observed primarily with those infected with SARS-CoV-2 during the first or second trimester, whereas increased rates of small for gestational age were driven largely by third trimester infection.
An Institute for Systems Biology-led study examined the electronic health records of more than 18,000 people with SARS-CoV-2 tests during pregnancy. Researchers compared outcomes of unvaccinated people with a positive test during pregnancy – 882 in total – to those who tested negative.
The people in the study had mild or moderate SARS-CoV-2 infections. Severity of maternal COVID-19 infection was not correlated with gestational age at delivery. Additionally, poor birth outcomes were present even if maternal COVID-19 didn’t result in severe respiratory problems during infection.
The findings were published in the journal The Lancet Digital Health and are among the first that account for the trimester of SARS-CoV-2 infection on birth outcomes.
Release date: 13 January 2022
Source: Institute for Systems Biology