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Covid-19 Can Infect a Higher Proportion of Pregnant Women, Says ICMR Study

The data is based on the PregCovid registry that collects information in near real-time on pregnant and post-partum women with laboratory confirmation of COVID from 19 medical colleges across the state of Maharashtra.

A study by ICMR has stated that pregnant women are at a greater risk of contracting Covid-19 (Source: Pexels)

New Delhi: SARS-CoV-2 can infect a higher proportion of pregnant women and the infected women need immediate medical attention, said a study by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

It was the first study released by ICMR on adverse outcomes of severe COVID-19 disease in pregnant women. ICMR conducted the study in collaboration with other government institutes and hospitals on pregnant women in Maharashtra.

The data is based on the PregCovid registry that collects information in near real-time on pregnant and post-partum women with laboratory confirmation of COVID from 19 medical colleges across the state of Maharashtra.

READ MORE: Antiretroviral Treatment Reduces Chances Of Death In HIV Positive Patients: ICMR-NACO Study

The Data of 4,203 pregnant women collected during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic (March 2020-January 2021) was analysed.

“There were 3,213 live births, 77 miscarriages and 834 undelivered pregnancies. The proportion of pregnancy/foetal loss including stillbirths was six per cent. Five hundred and thirty-four women (13 per cent) were symptomatic, of which 382 (72 per cent) had mild, 112 (21 per cent) had moderate, and 40 (7.5 per cent) had severe disease. The most common complication was preterm delivery (528, 16.3 per cent) and hypertensive disorders in pregnancy (328, 10.1 per cent). A total of 158 (3.8 per cent) pregnant and post-partum women required intensive care, of which 152 (96 per cent) were due to COVID-19 related complications,” reads the study by ICMR.

According to the study the high fatality was reported in Pune and Marathwada. “The overall case fatality rate (CFR) in pregnant and post-partum women with COVID-19 was 0.8 per cent (34/4203). Higher CFR was observed in Pune (9/853, 1.1 per cent), Marathwada (4/351, 1.1 per cent) regions as compared to Vidarbha (9/1155, 0.8 per cent), Mumbai Metropolitan (11/1684, 0.7 per cent), and Khandesh (1/160, 0.6 per cent) regions.

“Comorbidities of anaemia, tuberculosis and diabetes mellitus were associated with maternal deaths,” the study found.

READ MORE: Covid-19: Kerala Has Administered Atleast One Dose Of Vaccine To Over 80% Of People, Says Pinarayi Vijayan

“This is the first large-scale report of systematically collected, multicentre data on the clinical presentation, pregnancy outcomes and maternal deaths amongst women with COVID-19 in Maharashtra, India.

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The proportion of symptomatic COVID-19 women in our study was 12.7 per cent, a number consistent with that reported earlier from the same cohort18,” the study said.

“Our analysis suggests that SARS-CoV-2 may infect a higher proportion of pregnant women, and when symptomatic, a large proportion can develop moderate-to-severe diseases. Therefore, pregnant women with COVID-19 need immediate medical attention from the healthcare system in India,” it said.

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