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CDC: pregnant women have 70% increased risk of dying from COVID-19 versus non-infected pregnant women.


Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) published on November 2, 2020, an update on data collected about pregnant women infected with COVID-19, in which they found an adjusted relative risk (aRR) of 1.7, with the raw numbers showing 1.5 vs. 1.2 women per 1,000 cases died during pregnancy. The numbers of deaths are small regardless of infection, which is fortunate; however, there is a significant risk of serious complications and death from COVID-19 even in these young, mostly healthy people.

The report states the following:

 During January 22–October 3, CDC received reports through national COVID-19 case surveillance or through the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS) of 1,300,938 women aged 15–44 years with laboratory results indicative of acute infection with SARS-CoV-2. Data on pregnancy status were available for 461,825 (35.5%) women with laboratory-confirmed infection, 409,462 (88.7%) of whom were symptomatic. Among symptomatic women, 23,434 (5.7%) were reported to be pregnant.

After adjusting for age, race/ethnicity, and underlying medical conditions, pregnant women were significantly more likely than were nonpregnant women to be admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) (10.5 versus 3.9 per 1,000 cases; adjusted risk ratio [aRR] = 3.0; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.6–3.4), receive invasive ventilation (2.9 versus 1.1 per 1,000 cases; aRR = 2.9; 95% CI = 2.2–3.8), receive extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) (0.7 versus 0.3 per 1,000 cases; aRR = 2.4; 95% CI = 1.5–4.0), and die (1.5 versus 1.2 per 1,000 cases; aRR = 1.7; 95% CI = 1.2–2.4).

Stratifying these analyses by age and race/ethnicity highlighted disparities in risk by subgroup. Although the absolute risks for severe outcomes for women were low, pregnant women were at increased risk for severe COVID-19–associated illness.

There are other reports that show an increased risk of premature birth, which contradicts previous estimates about which I posted (what seems like ages ago, but must have been less than six months.)

There are other reports today about which I want to post, so I will keep this short: pregnancy, like other “co-morbidities”, confers an increased risk associated with novel coronavirus infections. Pregnant women should be especially careful about isolating themselves, wearing masks when around others, and frequent hand-washing when going to supermarkets and other outside places.

Ideally, pregnant women should not have to go to work and otherwise expose themselves. This is a failing of our “every man for himself” American society that forces everyone to work, regardless of risk factors.

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