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Covid in pregnancy linked to adverse outcomes for mother, baby

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Toronto, March 20 (IANS) Infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome SARS-CoV-2 in pregnancy is associated with preeclampsia, stillbirth, preterm birth and other adverse outcomes, finds a new study.

The study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, found double the risk of preterm birth and a 50 per cent increased risk of cesarean delivery in pregnant people with symptomatic Covid-19 than in those with asymptomatic Covid-19.

“Our findings suggest that pregnant people with Covid-19 have an increased risk of high blood pressure, stillbirth and preterm birth,” said researcher Nathalie Auger from the University of Montreal in Canada.

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“Their newborns are more likely to need intensive care. Pregnant people with severe Covid-19 symptoms have a particularly high risk of these complications,” Auger added.

For the study, the team reviewed 42 studies involving 438,548 pregnant people from around the world to determine the association between SARS-CoV-2 infection and adverse pregnancy outcomes.

The study indicated that those with severe Covid-19 had a 4-fold higher risk of high blood pressure and preterm birth.

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The researchers said that the reason for the increased risk of adverse outcomes is unclear, but could be because SARS-CoV-2 may lead to vasoconstriction and stimulate an inflammatory response affecting blood vessels.

“Our meta-analysis of recent good-quality cohort studies with comparative data does not align with these previous reviews, and provides clear evidence that symptomatic or severe Covid-19 is associated with a considerable risk of preeclampsia, preterm birth and low birth weight,” the team said.

“Clinicians should be aware of these adverse outcomes when managing pregnancies affected by Covid-19 and adopt effective strategies to prevent or reduce risks to patients and fetuses,” they noted.

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–IANS

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