During pregnancy, covid increases the risk of maternal death


Opinion

Pregnant women infected with the coronavirus are seven times more likely to die compared to uninfected pregnant women, a finding that comes amid renewed calls for vaccinations for those giving birth.

Their findings, published Monday in the journal BMJ Global Health, included patient data from more than 13,000 pregnant individuals included in 12 studies in 12 countries, including the United States. Along with a higher mortality rate, infected pregnant women are more likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit, require ventilation, or develop pneumonia if they have a coronavirus infection.

Children who are infected with the corona virus during pregnancy are more likely to be exposed to worse outcomes. They were twice as likely to require treatment in the intensive care unit after birth and were more likely to be born prematurely.

Emily R. Smith, lead author of the study and assistant professor of global health at George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health, said vaccination rates for pregnant women may be low because “the assumption is that if someone is pregnant, they are pregnant.” Probably young and mostly healthy.

In general, pregnancy outcomes have improved over time, but it is not a health-neutral phenomenon. Even if there is no viral infection, the risk of health problems increases during pregnancy. And the coronavirus adds another threat that increases the likelihood of serious consequences.

Being pregnant, even if a person has no underlying medical conditions, increases their risk of developing severe illness if they contract the coronavirus.

While newborn deaths from the coronavirus are rare in the United States, babies born to someone who contracted the virus after birth had a 2 percent chance of contracting the virus in the first few days after birth. basis to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

While research on the post-Covid impact on this age group is growing, the implications for cognitive and physical development in an infant or child are unclear.

That is why many health associations, e.g American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society of Maternal-Fetal MedicineRecommends corona virus vaccine for pregnant individuals. Despite the public health message, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the number of individuals who received the corona virus vaccine before and during pregnancy in a certain period of time Decreased from 2021.

From May 2022, approx 29 percent of women Those who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant believe some of the misinformation surrounding the coronavirus vaccine, according to a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit health-policy organization. Some unproven claims about the vaccine’s effects include effects on fertility and breastfeeding.

The research shows that despite the general confidence in vaccinations in adults, hesitation can occur when a person has a child or is trying to get pregnant.

Kathryn Gray, a maternal and fetal medicine specialist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, said misinformation surrounding vaccines may be partly due to anti-vaccine rhetoric on social media.

“It’s become a political issue, and I think our health policy messaging has not been at the level it should be,” Gray said. “People are still dying because of it, and there’s not enough health public policy messaging to take into account the health consequences.”

Outside of pregnancy, overall global vaccination rates have declined, and epidemic fatigue has affected much of the world, causing a steep decline.

Despite mounting evidence that vaccines significantly reduce deaths and hospitalizations due to SARS-CoV-2 infection, Smith said the push to vaccinate young people is a global concern and not isolated to the United States.

Jennifer L. Lyer, MD, a pediatric infectious-disease specialist at NYU Langone Health, said there needs to be a greater push in the health community to get people vaccinated during pregnancy. “Some obstetricians and gynecologists are not making it a priority,” she said.

Smith said this study should encourage more pregnant women to get the coronavirus vaccine.

“This is not some extreme advice,” Smith said. “But it’s important to know that pregnant women are at higher risk when they get Covid, so it’s important to get vaccinated and take some of these precautions.”



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