MONDAY, Nov. 22, 2021 (HealthDay News) — The risk for stillbirth is elevated in deliveries with versus without COVID-19, according to research published in the Nov. 19 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Carla L. DeSisto, Ph.D., from the CDC COVID-19 Response Team, and colleagues used the Premier Healthcare Database Special COVID-19 Release database to examine whether a maternal COVID-19 diagnosis documented at delivery hospitalization was associated with stillbirth during March 2020 to September 2021, and before and during the period of predominance of the delta variant (March 2020 to June 2021 and July to September 2021, respectively).

The researchers found that stillbirths were rare among 1,249,634 deliveries during March 2020 to September 2021 (0.65 percent); 1.26 and 0.64 percent occurred among 21,653 and 1,227,981 deliveries to women with and without COVID-19, respectively, documented during the delivery hospitalization. During March 2020 to September 2021, the adjusted risk for stillbirth was higher in deliveries with versus without COVID-19 (adjusted relative risk, 1.90), including during the pre-delta and delta-periods (adjusted relative risks, 1.47 and 4.04, respectively).

“This analysis adds to growing evidence of an association between COVID-19 in pregnancy and stillbirth, highlights that the risk for stillbirth associated with COVID-19 is affected by maternal morbidity, and demonstrates that the risk has increased during the delta period,” the authors write. “In addition, further investigation of vaccine effectiveness during pregnancy, including prevention of stillbirth, is warranted.”

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