Higher COVID-19 risks for pregnant women and their newborns

Higher COVID-19 risks for pregnant women and their newborns

A study by British scientists published last week has revealed that pregnant women infected with COVID-19 and their newborns may face higher risks of complications than previously believed. 

Scientists at the University of Oxford conducted a study which found that being infected by the new coronavirus is associated with a three-fold risk of severe medical complications for newborns. 

Pregnant women have a higher likelihood of complications, including premature birth, high blood pressure, intensive care requirements and possibly even death.

Aris Papageorghiou, the co-lead of the trial and a professor of foetal medicine at Oxford University, said that women with COVID-19 during pregnancy were “…over 50 percent more likely to experience pregnancy complications compared to pregnant women unaffected by COVID-19.”

More than 2,100 pregnant women across 18 countries were involved in the study, where each participant affected by the virus was compared to two non-infected women giving birth simultaneously at the same hospital.

The study was published in the medical journal JAMA Pediatrics, and revealed that caesarean childbirths may also be associated with an increased risk of virus infection in newborns. 

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