Women infected by coronavirus they were at risk of death during pregnancy COVID-19 seven times as large as the rest of the population, and they and their unborn children were at greater risk for complications.
At least that’s what a meta-analysis published this week in British Medical Journal Global Healthbased on data collected from over 13,000 pregnant women in studies conducted in 12 countries to better assess the risk posed by COVID contracted during pregnancy.
The researchers, who measured the impact of COVID on pregnancies carried out between February 2020 and July 2021, conclude that there is a sevenfold increase in the relative risk of death among infected pregnant women and five times more frequent use of the therapy intensive. .
More than 50% of infected and non-infected pregnant women recruited in these studies were from Sweden, Spain, Italy or the United States. A smaller percentage of the data collected came from China, Turkey and sub-Saharan African countries.
The data was collected at a time when most study participants were unvaccinated. These findings therefore offer insight into the risk COVID poses to pregnant women who have not developed immunity following either a vaccine, an infection, or both.
Risks of serious complications
Women infected during pregnancy were also 23 times more likely to develop pneumonia and 15 times more likely to be placed on a ventilator. The infection also significantly increased the risk of other serious complications, including preeclampsia and embolism due to thrombosis. The data show that there were more preterm deliveries and ICU admissions among newborns of infected mothers, but no more stillbirths.
According to the dd Diane Francoeur, obstetrician-gynecologist at the Sainte-Justine Children’s University Hospital, this study confirms the validity of the recommendations that have long supported the vaccination of pregnant women. The empirical observations made in this hospital confirm that pregnant women develop more complications following the infection than the general population.
“In hindsight, we’re glad we were more forceful in our approach [en insistant sur la vaccination] to protect pregnant women. We have seen it from the beginning in the field that they are more at risk, ”says this specialist doctor.
If the figures reported in this study are worrying, the reality has evolved in the meantime, claims the Dd Francoeur. The variants now implicated in COVID leads to less severe symptoms and vaccination has greatly limited complications in pregnant women, he believes.
In addition to vaccines, about 75 percent of the population has now contracted the virus, which gives several expectant mothers hybrid immunity, she explains. The fact remains that we do not know exactly how many pregnant women are adequately protected, no data is collected on this subject during the administration of the vaccine in Quebec, regrets the Dd Francoeur. She estimates that half of her patients still refuse to be vaccinated.
” There is environments in which vaccine adherence remains […] very weak and where disinformation continues to prevail and prevail over scientific information,” complains this specialist. “Even if it is known that the infection no longer causes as many complications as before, the vaccine still prevents the severe form of COVID, possible hospitalizations and stays in intensive care,” he says.
According to her, many women, still fearful of harming their unborn child, put themselves at unnecessary risk by refusing the vaccine. “Even if they don’t leave the house to protect themselves, they will eventually be exposed to the virus by other children who bring the virus home. »