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Hospitalized Pregnant COVID-19 Patients May Not Have Increased Mortality Risk

Less than 1% of the pregnant women died during the study period, compared to 3.5% of the non-pregnant patients.

A recent study conducted by investigators from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, in collaboration with the University of Maryland School of Medicine, has found that pregnant women who are hospitalized due to COVID-19 and viral pneumonia are less likely to die from the infections than non-pregnant women.

Results from the study were published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

"At the start of the pandemic, the existing data showed that pregnant women would face severe complications if they contracted the virus," Jacqueline Parchem, a co-author on the study. said "While pregnant women are certainly susceptible to severe complications of COVID-19 including death, we view these data has reassuring that the absolute risk of death is low."

For the study, the team of investigators examined the medical records of roughly 1,100 patients who were pregnant and 9,800 who were not. All of the patients were between the ages of 15-45 and were hospitalized with COVID-19 and pneumonia.

Results from the study showed that less than 1% of the pregnant patients died, compared to 3.5% of the non-pregnant patients.

The investigators believe that this may be because the pregnant patients were more likely to be younger with fewer underlying health conditions, such as hypertension, chronic lung disease or diabetes.

However, they stressed that because of the small numbers of deaths in the study, they could not determine if the conditions have any significant impact on the risk of mortality.

"We had expected to confirm the results of the CDC and other U.S. researchers showing that pregnancy increases the risk for dying from COVID-19,” Beth Pineles, first author on the study said. “However, once we compared our results to data from the UK and reviewed the CDC reports more carefully, we found confirmation that our results were likely to represent the true risks of COVID-19 in these populations, despite the limitation of pregnant women being younger and healthier than non-pregnant women."