TUESDAY, July 26, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is associated with an increased risk for preterm birth, according to a study published online July 20 in PLOS ONE.

Noga Fallach, from the Kahn-Sagol-Maccabi Research and Innovation Institute in Tel Aviv, Israel, and colleagues analyzed pregnancy outcomes after SARS-CoV-2 infection by trimester. The analysis included 2,753 women with a singleton pregnancy (February 21, 2020, to July 2, 2021) who were matched to a noninfected pregnant woman by age, last menstruation date, sector, and socioeconomic status.

The researchers found that 17.4 and 48.4 percent of women were infected during the first and third trimesters, respectively. There was no association observed between first and second trimester infections and preterm birth, but third trimester infections, particularly after 34 weeks of gestation, had a greater risk for preterm birth (adjusted odds ratio, 2.76 and 7.10, respectively). The risk for preterm birth was even stronger with symptomatic third-trimester infections (adjusted odds ratio, 4.28). All trimester groups had comparable small-for-gestational-age risk and pregnancy loss incidence.

“The results are encouraging and reassuring that COVID-19 infection during pregnancy is not associated with any type of pregnancy loss,” a coauthor said in a statement. “However, it should be remembered that the research group tested the COVID pre-delta variants, and does not refer to the dominant variant today, which is omicron.”

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