January 18, 2022

the risk of pregnancy problems is higher when the mother is infected, confirms a study conducted by AP-HP

The researchers looked at the course of pregnancy in patients with Covid-19 a posteriori and compared it with pregnant women spared the disease. In total, nearly 250 000 deliveries are concerned.

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Pregnancies are more often disrupted when pregnant women are infected with the Sars-CoV-2 coronavirus, with in particular a greater risk of premature births, shows a study relayed Tuesday, December 14 by hospitals in Paris (AP-HP). “We have observed links between a diagnosis of Covid-19 and several maternal morbidities, [dont] premature births, pre-eclampsia (increased blood pressure associated with increased protein in the urine), haemorrhages during childbirth and births by caesarean section“, summarizes this study conducted in France by the AP-HP and published at the end of November in the journal PLOS Medicine (in English). These conclusions are in line with previous studies.

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The AP-HP study corresponds to the start of the pandemic, ie the first half of 2020. The researchers subsequently examined the course of pregnancy in patients with Covid-19 and compared it with pregnant women spared from disease. This concerns a total of nearly 250,000 deliveries.

Among the main findings, the proportion of premature births before 37 weeks (eight and a half months) is twice as high in Covid patients. In contrast, the study did not notice more frequent cases of stillbirths in mothers with the disease.

This study, which has the advantage of having examined a large number of cases, has limitations linked to its principle. By studying the situation of pregnant women after the fact, she cannot prove a direct cause and effect link between Covid-19 and the problems encountered.

Among other limitations, only patients with symptoms were classified as Covid-19 cases. The study cannot therefore comment on the higher risk of problems in patients who are Covid-positive but asymptomatic.

Finally, this work only looks at pregnancies that have already entered their second trimester. The researchers were therefore unable to determine whether there was a higher risk of miscarriage in early pregnancy.