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.
“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.
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.