COVID-19 may increase risk for complications at childbirth


  • Dawn O'Shea
  • Univadis Medical News
Access to the full content of this site is available only to registered healthcare professionals. Access to the full content of this site is available only to registered healthcare professionals.

The findings of a new study suggest a higher risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in women diagnosed with COVID-19 in the setting of childbirth.

The study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, examined outcomes among 406,446 women hospitalised for childbirth between April 1 and November 23, 2020.

Of 6,380 women with COVID-19 who gave birth, 98.9 per cent were discharged home, 212 (3.3%) needed intensive care, 86 (1.3%) needed mechanical ventilation, and nine (0.1%) died in hospital.

In-hospital mortality was significantly higher in women with vs without COVID-19 (141; 95% CI 65-268 vs 5.0; 95% CI 3.1-7.7 deaths per 100,000 women). Rates of myocardial infarction (MI) and VTE were higher in the women with vs without COVID-19 (MI: 0.1% vs 0.004%; VTE: 0.2% vs 0.1%; P<.001>

COVID-19 was associated with higher odds of preeclampsia (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 1.21; 95% CI 1.11-1.33) and preterm birth (aOR 1.17; 95% CI 1.06-1.29) but was associated with significantly higher odds of stillbirth (aOR 1.23; 95% CI, 0.87-1.75).

The authors say the findings highlight the need for strategies to minimise risk and also underscore the importance of including this population in clinical trials of treatments and vaccines.