COVID-19 in pregnancy-related stillbirths, research results – archyde

(AP) – Pregnant women with COVID-19 have increased chances of stillbirth compared to uninfected women, and that risk increased four-fold after the delta variant emerged, new government data shows.

The Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a report on Friday that examined 1.2 million deliveries in 736 hospitals across the country from March 2020 to September 2021.

Stillbirths were rare, a total of 8,154 among all births. However, the researchers found that in women with COVID-19, about one in 80 deliveries resulted in stillbirth. Among the uninfected, it was one in 155.

In people with COVID-19, stillbirths were more common in people with chronic high blood pressure and other complications, including those in the intensive care unit or on ventilators.

“These results underscore 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 COVID-19 vaccinations had received, although the authors found that the US vaccination rate in pregnant people was 30% after the onset of Delta last summer.

Pregnant women with COVID-19 are more likely to develop severe, even fatal, illness and are at increased risk of premature births and other complications. Previous studies on stillbirths and COVID-19 had mixed results, but the report reinforces obstetrician concerns and anecdotal data.

While the absolute risk of stillbirth is small, anyone who is pregnant shouldn’t underestimate the dangers of COVID-19, said Dr. Mark Turrentine, professor at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. He helped write the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ recommendations for COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy.

“What’s really sad is that we’ve had a highly effective vaccine for 10 months and we just can’t convince people to use it,” said Turrentine.

Some experts have speculated that the virus could cause inflammation of the placenta or other abnormalities that could harm the fetus.

Dr. Joseph Biggio, high-risk pregnancy specialist at Ochsner Health in New Orleans, said the study did not prove that COVID-19 caused stillbirths. He said it was possible that some women were so seriously ill that doctors trying to keep them alive “could not intervene on a fetus they knew was in trouble.”

The researchers relied on medical records and found that they could not determine whether the COVID-19 diagnoses listed at the time of delivery represented current or past infections.

In general, stillbirths are more common in black people, those who live to be over 35 years old, or who smoke tobacco while pregnant.

The study did not include pregnancy outcomes by race, an area the authors plan to examine in future research “because COVID-19 has disproportionately affected many ethnic and ethnic minorities and puts them at greater risk of getting sick and dying” . ‘

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