Premature birth, hypertension most common Covid complication during pregnancy: Study

The study collected data of 4,203 pregnant women during the first wave of the pandemic in various districts of Maharashtra, from March 2020 to January 2021, and analysed it.
For representational purposes. (File Photo)
For representational purposes. (File Photo)

NEW DELHI: Premature birth and hypertensive disorders are the most common complications of Covid during pregnancy, the latest study by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) based on findings from Maharashtra has shown.

The study, published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research, collected data of 4,203 pregnant women during the first wave of the pandemic in various districts of Maharashtra, from March 2020 to January 2021, and analysed it.

The data was collected under the project PregCovid registry, which was established to document clinical presentations, pregnancy outcomes and mortality of pregnant and post-partum women with Covid.

The registry prospectively collected information in near-real-time on pregnant and post-partum women with laboratory-confirmed diagnoses of Covid from 19 medical colleges across the state. 

The figures showed that there were 3,213 live births, 77 miscarriages and 834 undelivered pregnancies. The proportion of pregnancy or foetal loss including stillbirths was 6% and 534 women (13%) were symptomatic, of which 382 (72%) had mild, 112 (21%) had moderate, and 40 (7.5%) had severe disease.

The most common complication was preterm delivery (528, 16.3%) and hypertensive disorders in pregnancy (328, 10.1%), the study noted.

Also, a total of 158 (3.8%) pregnant and post-partum women required ICU, of which 152 (96%) were due to Covid related complications. The overall case fatality rate in pregnant and post-partum women with Covid was 0.8%. Higher CFR was observed in Pune (1.1%), Marathwada (1.1%) regions as compared to Vidarbha (0.8%), Mumbai Metropolitan (0.7%), and Khandesh (0.6%) regions.

"Comorbidities of anaemia, tuberculosis and diabetes mellitus were associated with maternal deaths. The study demonstrates the adverse outcomes including severe Covid disease, pregnancy loss and maternal death in women with Covid in Maharashtra," the study also highlighted.

While recommending Covid vaccination for all pregnant women, the government had cited studies that showed that the coronavirus infection during pregnancy may result in rapid deterioration of health of pregnant women and they are at an increased risk of severe diseases while the infection affects the foetus too.

Additionally, some government committees had also highlighted pre-existing comorbidities, advanced maternal age, and high body mass Index as factors for severe Covid in pregnancy.

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