Study shows pregnant women with COVID-19 face high mortality rate

SEATTLE, Wash. — A study led by University of Washington Medicine and Oxford found that pregnant women who contract COVID-19 are 20 times more likely to die than those who do not.

The study was conducted by JAMA Pediatrics and involved more than 100 researchers, as well as pregnant women from 43 maternity hospitals across 18 low-, middle- and high-income nations, according to UW Medicine.

The university said each woman affected by COVID was compared with two uninfected mothers who gave birth in the same time span.

This research was conducted between April and August 2020.

“The [number one] takeaway from the research is that pregnant women are no more likely to get COVID-19, but if they get it, they are more likely to become very ill and more likely to require ICU care, ventilation, or experience preterm birth and preeclampsia,” said Dr. Michael Gravett, OB-GYN professor at UW Medicine.

The study also found that pregnant women with COVID-19 are more likely to experience pre-term birth, pre-eclampsia and ICU admission. Findings also show that of the pregnant women with COVID, 11.5% of their babies also contracted the virus.

Gravett notes that around 40% of the women in this study were asymptomatic — and those who are asymptomatic or have only mild symptoms were found to not be at an increased risk for ICU care, according to the study.

You can read the full study here.

Given the findings, Gravett says he “highly recommends” pregnant women receive the COVID vaccine.

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