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COVID-19 and Pregnancy

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) studied the disease surveillance data of 8,207 pregnant women infected with the novel coronavirus and 83,205 nonpregnant women aged 15 to 44 years from Jan 22 to Jun 7 to determine whether the immunologic and physiologic changes of pregnancy put them at risk for more severe outcomes. Among pregnant women, 46.2% were Hispanic, 23.0% were white, 22.1% were black, and 3.8% were Asian, versus 38.1%, 29.4%, 25.4%, and 3.2%, respectively, of their nonpregnant peers.

Overall, 97.1% of pregnant women and 96.9% of nonpregnant women had COVID-19 symptoms. Both groups had a similar frequency of cough (more than 50%) and shortness of breath (30%). Pregnant women were less likely to report headache, muscle aches, fever, chills, and diarrhea, but were more likely to have chronic lung disease, diabetes, and heart disease.

Approximately one third (31.5%) of pregnant women infected with SARS-CoV-2 were hospitalized compared to 5.8% of infected nonpregnant women. The study design was unable to distinguish between hospitalization for coronavirus-related symptoms versus those for pregnancy-related procedures such as delivery.

After adjustment for age, underlying conditions, and race/ethnicity, pregnant women were 5.4 times more likely to be hospitalized, 1.5 times more likely to need intensive care, and 1.7 times more likely to require mechanical ventilation than nonpregnant women.

Sixteen of 8,207 pregnant women and 208 of 83,205 nonpregnant women died of COVID-19, giving a mortality rate of 0.2% for both groups.


illington S, Strid P, Tong VT, et al. Characteristics of Women of Reproductive Age with Laboratory-Confirmed SARS-CoV-2 Infection by Pregnancy Status — United States, January 22–June 7, 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2020;69:769–775.  DOI

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