WEDNESDAY, Jan. 20, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Among U.S. women hospitalized for childbirth, the rates of death and certain adverse events are increased among those diagnosed with COVID-19, according to a research letter published online Jan. 15 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Karola S. Jering, M.D., from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and colleagues compared clinical characteristics and outcomes of women with and without COVID-19, who gave birth in the hospital between April 11 and Nov. 23, 2020. Data were included for 406,446 women hospitalized for childbirth; 1.6 percent had COVID-19.

The researchers found that pregnant women with COVID-19 were younger, more often Black and/or Hispanic, and more likely to have diabetes and obesity compared with pregnant women without COVID-19. Of the 6,380 women with COVID-19 who gave birth, 98.9 percent were discharged to home and 3.3, 1.3, and 0.1 percent needed intensive care, needed mechanical ventilation, and died in the hospital, respectively. In-hospital mortality was significantly higher in women with versus without COVID-19 (141 versus 5.0 deaths per 100,000 women). Women with versus without COVID-19 had higher rates of myocardial infarction (0.1 versus 0.004 percent) and venous thromboembolism (0.2 versus 0.1 percent). The odds of preeclampsia and preterm birth were increased in association with COVID-19 (adjusted odds ratios [95 percent confidence intervals], 1.21 [1.11 to 1.33] and 1.17 [1.06 to 1.29], respectively), but stillbirth was not (adjusted odds ratio, 1.23; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.87 to 1.75).

“As studies investigating therapies for COVID-19 have largely excluded pregnant women, the data also underscore the importance of including this population in clinical trials of treatments and vaccine,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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