Covid-19 increases pregnant women’s risk of severe illness and may cause premature birth, new research reveals

Women infected with Covid-19 during pregnancy are more likely to die, according to a scientific study by American experts, who found that SARS-CoV-2 increases the risk of developing severe diseases in mothers and newborns.

Several reports have already indicated how pregnant women are particularly vulnerable to the virus, so they were considered a risk group for vaccination purposes, with the aim of protecting them, as well as unborn babies. But how the studies were conducted and the patients involved made it difficult to reach conclusions about the true impact of Covid-19 on this population group, especially in poorer countries where there is little scientific research.

This new study analyzed data from more than 13,000 women who were not vaccinated against Covid in more than 12 studies in the same number of countries, and experts were able to draw reliable conclusions about the risks of infection for pregnant women around the world.

Emily Smith, a physician and professor of global health at the University of Washington and one of the authors of the study, found that in the studies reviewed, 3% of women with covid.19 were admitted to intensive care. times more than pregnant women without the disease. About 2% of affected pregnant women required mechanical ventilation during the illness.

The infection, according to collected data, has been linked to a higher mortality rate among unvaccinated pregnant women. In studies, 7% of women infected with Covid-19 died, compared to 1% of those who survived the virus. About one-fifth of pregnant women with the infection developed pneumonia, a diagnosis 23 times more common in these patients than in women without Covid-19.

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Other risks also exist for newborns, and research now published in the scientific journal BMJ Global Health indicates that unvaccinated mothers with Covid-19 are more likely to be born prematurely and have their babies hospitalized in neonatal intensive care. Babies born prematurely are at higher risk of health problems and may have problems with cognitive development in childhood.

“We found that women with Covid-19 during pregnancy have a higher risk of ending up in intensive care, or having pregnancy-related problems such as pre-eclampsia, or dying, compared to other women who are pregnant at the same time but who don’t have the disease,” notes Emily Smith.

The official explains another result of the investigation: “We also found that among mothers who contracted Covid-19 during pregnancy, their babies were more likely to be born prematurely or have complications that led to hospitalization in the neonatal intensive care unit.

“The implications here are that it is very important for a pregnant woman or someone who wants to become pregnant to get vaccinated against Covid-19. It actually helps reduce the risk of complications for both mother and baby,” the researcher concludes.

The analyzed study did not look at the potentially variable impact of different strains of Covid-19. Previous studies have already shown that in vaccinated mothers, antibodies against Covid-19 provide protection to the baby even after birth.

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