COVID-19 raises risk for women who are obese and pregnant

Newswise — The novel coronavirus can severely affect pregnant women who are overweight or obese before becoming pregnant, new research suggests.

Published today by the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the findings show that women who contract the virus may have a higher incidence of preterm birth.

“One of the most important study findings is that in nearly all cases of severe COVID-19 disease, women were either overweight or obese prior to pregnancy and had other conditions like asthma and high blood pressure,” said senior author Dr. Kristina Adams Waldorf. "The combination of pregnancy, obesity, asthma and a COVID-19 pneumonia can synergistically increase the burden on her lungs.” 

The research was led by Adams Waldorf, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Erica Lokken, an epidemiologist at the UW School of Public Health, was lead author of the paper. 

This is the first study published by the Washington State COVID-19 in Pregnancy Collaborative, a group of obstetricians across hospital systems that facilitate 40% of births in Washington state.  The findings came after the hospitals examined the outcomes of 46 pregnant mothers who contracted COVID-19 between Jan. 21 and April 17.

This study included all known infections of the virus in pregnant women from participating hospitals in Washington state. Patients involved in the study had been screened for COVID-19 because they developed symptoms in this time period.  The group focused on this research because the clinical course of COVID-19 in pregnant women is not well understood, Adams Waldorf said. 

“We want to determine the risks of COVID-19 in pregnancy and which subgroups of pregnant women might be at greatest risk. The next step is to translate this information into public health action so that we can provide information to high-risk pregnant women in communities with higher rates of transmission."

The consortium received funding from the UW Population Health Initiative to expand their study across the state. The researchers found that 1 in 7 pregnant women was hospitalized for respiratory concerns and 1 in 8 had a severe COVID-19 pneumonia. The timing of delivery for 25% of the women was influenced by the effects of COVID-19 on lung function and in one case, resulted in a preterm birth.

Of the women studied, nearly all experienced some symptoms of the disease  (93.5%). About 15% of the women were hospitalized and one was admitted to the ICU. Six of the seven patients hospitalized experienced severe COVID-19 symptoms. Eight deliveries occurred in the group during the study. One preterm birth occurred at 33 weeks, and there was one stillbirth, though it was unknown whether this was caused by the coronavirus. 

“These findings support categorizing pregnant patients as a higher risk group, particularly with obesity and chronic diseases like asthma and high blood pressure,” the report concluded.

“It is encouraging that most pregnant patients with COVID-19 experienced mild disease, but we cannot discount that one in eight pregnant patients were hospitalized for respiratory concerns," said Lokken. “We have a lot more to learn." 

Participating institutions represented 16 hospitals from the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metropolitan area, Bellingham, Spokane and their surrounding areas. Sites included the University of Washington Medical Center (Montlake and Northwest campuses) and Harborview Medical Center; Swedish Medical Center (First Hill, Ballard, Issaquah, and Edmonds campuses); Valley Medical Center, MultiCare Health System (Auburn Medical Center, Covington Medical Center, Tacoma General Hospital, Good Samaritan Hospital, Valley Hospital and Deaconess Hospital); EvergreenHealth Medical Center; and PeaceHealth-St. Joseph’s Medical Center. These sites have 34,000 deliveries annually, which represent 40% of the approximately 86,000 deliveries each year in Washington state.

 

MEDIA CONTACT
Register for reporter access to contact details
CITATIONS

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (AI133976, AI145890, AI144938, AI143265, AI120793); Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology




Filters close

Showing results

1120 of 3411
Released: 25-Sep-2020 12:55 PM EDT
COVID-19 shapes political approval ratings
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Approval ratings of political leaders surged in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Released: 25-Sep-2020 12:40 PM EDT
ASU Researchers Receive $6m State Contract to Develop Rapid, 20-Minute Covid-19 Saliva Test
Arizona State University (ASU)

As the world manages through the coronavirus pandemic, Arizona State University continues its work to discover and develop easier and more widespread COVID-19 testing to assist in managing the virus.

Released: 25-Sep-2020 11:55 AM EDT
Scholars untangle marketing's complex role in understanding political activities
American Marketing Association (AMA)

As 2020 began, many pundits predicted a politically charged year, but few predicted that it would include a global pandemic overtaxing healthcare resources, strained U.S. race relations resulting in mass demonstrations across the globe, devastating fires consuming massive swaths of the United States, and a catastrophic global economic downturn.

Released: 25-Sep-2020 10:50 AM EDT
COVID-19 Spurs Anxious, Upsetting Dreams
American Psychological Association (APA)

The anxiety, stress and worry brought on by COVID-19 is not limited to daytime hours. The pandemic is affecting our dreams as well, infusing more anxiety and negative emotions into dreams and spurring dreams about the virus itself, particularly among women, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

Released: 25-Sep-2020 10:15 AM EDT
Risk Communication Expert Offers Public Health Guide to COVID-19 Retweets
University at Albany, State University of New York

Researchers analyzed 150,000 tweets about COVID-19 from about 700 state and local agencies between February and April 2020 to see what factors led to the most retweets.

access_time Embargo lifts in 2 days
Embargo will expire: 30-Sep-2020 8:00 AM EDT Released to reporters: 25-Sep-2020 10:00 AM EDT

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 30-Sep-2020 8:00 AM EDT The Newswise PressPass gives verified journalists access to embargoed stories. Please log in to complete a presspass application. If you have not yet registered, please Register. When you fill out the registration form, please identify yourself as a reporter in order to advance to the presspass application form.

Newswise: World Lung Day 2020: Respiratory Groups Call for Research to Prevent, Detect and Treat Respiratory Infections
Released: 25-Sep-2020 9:45 AM EDT
World Lung Day 2020: Respiratory Groups Call for Research to Prevent, Detect and Treat Respiratory Infections
American Thoracic Society (ATS)

Today, on World Lung Day (WLD), the American Thoracic Society is united with members of the Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS) and WLD partner organizations to advocate for respiratory health globally and call for more research to prevent, detect and treat respiratory infections.

Newswise: Diaphragm Pacing can Enhance Recovery and
Weaning from Mechanical Ventilation in Cardiac Surgery, Small Series Concludes
Released: 25-Sep-2020 8:55 AM EDT
Diaphragm Pacing can Enhance Recovery and Weaning from Mechanical Ventilation in Cardiac Surgery, Small Series Concludes
University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center

Surgeons at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center have improved the prognosis of several cardiac patients after emergency FDA approval of a diaphragm pacing device.


Showing results

1120 of 3411

close
1.09728