COVID-19 poses added risks to pregnant women, study says

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(NEXSTAR) — People who contract COVID-19 during pregnancy have an increased chance of prenatal complications, according to a new study.

The study, published Thursday in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, tracked 2,130 pregnant people in 18 countries and found that those with a COVID-19 diagnosis “were at increased risk of a composite maternal morbidity and mortality index,” or adverse outcomes during pregnancy.

The study found an association between pregnant people with COVID-19 and higher rates of maternal mortality, preeclampsia and preterm birth, compared to pregnant individuals without a COVID-19 diagnosis.

Pregnant people with COVID were also more likely to experience severe infection and intensive care unit admission.

The study is one of only a handful that looks at how COVID-19 affects pregnant and nursing individuals.

Pregnant people are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, though it has yet to be widely studied for the group.

“Based on how these vaccines work in the body, experts believe they are unlikely to pose a specific risk for people who are pregnant,” the CDC says on its website. “However, there are currently limited data on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in pregnant people.”

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