The Center for Disease Control and Prevention published a report this week in which it says that pregnant women who are infected with the novel coronavirus are five times more likely to be hospitalized. Even though an earlier guidance said that it found no difference in risk between pregnant and nonpregnant women, the recent research says otherwise, and pregnant women with COVID-19 are at greater risk of hospitalization.
The study was conducted on thousands of U.S. women between January 2020 and June 2020, and it found that pregnant women also have an increased risk for ICU admission, requiring mechanical ventilation. The CDC received reports on 326,335 women between the ages of 15 to 44 who tested positive for the novel coronavirus from January 22 to June 7. Data on pregnancy status was available for 91,412 of the women that tested positive, and 8,207 of them were pregnant.
According to the reports of the study, pregnant women are 5.4 times more likely to be hospitalized when compared to non-pregnant women, and 1.5 times more likely to be admitted to the ICU. Additionally, they’re 1.7 times more likely to receive mechanical ventilation when the presence of underlying conditions and age are taken out of the equation.
Pregnant women reported fewer symptoms of headache, muscle aches, fever, chills, and diarrhea when compared to non-pregnant symptomatic women, but had similar symptoms of cough and shortness of breath.
The risk of fatality, though, did not appear greater for pregnant women, and it was 0.2 percent for both groups.
What came as a surprise was that there were racial disparities among pregnant women infected with COVID-19, as it disproportionately affects Hispanic and Black women.
COVID-19 infection can also mean a greater risk of preterm labor for pregnant women, according to the CDC. Additionally, the CDC recommends that pregnant women should not skip their prenatal appointments, but maintain limited interactions with other people as much as possible, and take all the reasonable precautions to prevent getting COVID-19.
“The new data released today suggest a different level of risk for pregnant patients than was previously indicated by earlier data. “In keeping with our evidence-based approach, ACOG is reviewing all of our clinical materials and patient resources related to COVID-19 in light of newly available information and will make any necessary revisions to recommendations.” – Dr. Christopher Zahn, the vice president of practice activities of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said in a statement.