Pregnant women who contract the coronavirus are more likely to become critically ill and die, and are at higher risk for premature delivery, two new reports released on Monday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) find.
Expecting mothers with COVID-19 were about three times more likely to be admitted to the ICU and need mechanical ventilation compared to non-pregnant women.
Additionally, they were 25 percent more likely to have a preterm baby than pregnant women among the general population.
The CDC team says more efforts need to be placed on educating pregnant women about their risks and importance of seeking medical care immediately if they experience any symptoms.
A new CDC report found that pregnant women with COVID-19 were about three times more likely to be admitted to the ICU and need ventilation compared to non-pregnant women. Pictured: Nurse Janil Wise (left) prepares test for COVID-19 in patient Sarah Bodle, who is 31 weeks pregnant, at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, California, July 10
For the first report, the team looked at about 409,000 women between ages 15 and 44 who had symptoms of COVID-19 such as coughing and fever.
Of these women, nearly 23,500 - 5.7 percent - were pregnant.
After adjusting for factors, such as race and pre-existing conditions, researchers found that pregnant women were more likely to need intensive care.
About 10.5 per 1,000 pregnant women were admitted to the ICU, nearly three times the rate of non-pregnant women of 3.9 per 1,000.
Pregnant women were three times more likely to need ventilation with 2.9 cases per 1,000 women versus 1.1 per 1,000 cases among non-pregnant women.
Expecting mothers were also more likely to die at a rate of about 1.5 deaths per 1,000 compared to 1.2 per 1,000 among non-pregnant women.
Results also showed disparities for severe illness and death