News Release

Does severe COVID-19 affect pregnancy outcomes?

Peer-Reviewed Publication


New research published in Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica indicates that severe COVID-19 in pregnancy increases the risk of pre-labor caesarean birth, a very or extreme preterm birth, stillborn birth, and the need for admission to a neonatal unit.  

The study included 4,436 pregnant women hospitalized in the UK with symptomatic COVID-19 from March 1, 2020 to October 31, 2021 (13.9% of whom had severe COVID-19). In addition to having increased risks of adverse pregnancy-related outcomes, women with severe infection were more likely to be aged ≥30 years, be overweight or obese, be of mixed ethnicity, or have gestational diabetes compared with those with mild or moderate infection.  

“This new analysis shows that certain pregnant women admitted to a hospital with COVID-19 face an elevated risk of severe disease. However, it shows once again the strongly protective effect of vaccination against severe disease and adverse outcomes for both mother and baby,” said senior author Marian Knight, FMedSci, of the University of Oxford. “This study emphasizes the importance of ensuring that interventions to promote vaccine uptake are particularly focused towards those at highest risk.” 

The study received funding from Wellbeing of Women and from the National Institute for Health Research.

Additional Information

Link to Study:

About Journal

Published monthly, Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica is an international journal dedicated to providing the very latest information on the results of both clinical, basic and translational research work related to all aspects of women’s health from around the globe. The journal regularly publishes commentaries, reviews, and original articles on a wide variety of topics including: gynecology, pregnancy, birth, female urology, gynecologic oncology, fertility and reproductive biology.

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