A new study published in JAMA shows that pregnant people with COVID-19 are at greater risk of being hospitalized, being admitted to intensive care units (ICUs) and experiencing an early birth.  

As of Oct. 31, 2021, there were a total of 8,786 recorded cases of COVID-19 in pregnancy in Canada. Researchers analyzed outcomes from 6,012 of these cases, comparing the results with non-pregnant people and with pregnant people who did not contract COVID-19.

  • Among the 6,012 cases of COVID-19 in pregnancy, 466 (7.75 per cent) required hospitalization and 121 (2.01 per cent) were admitted to an ICU.
  • People who were pregnant were 2.65 times more likely to require hospitalization and 5.46 times more likely to be admitted to ICU than non-pregnant individuals.

The researchers also looked at whether or not COVID-19 infections led to an increase in adverse pregnancy outcomes. While the rates of stillbirth did not increase significantly among COVID-19 affected pregnancies, the study did find that individuals who had COVID-19 were more likely to experience preterm birth.

  • Overall, the rate of preterm birth (before 37 weeks of pregnancy) was 11.1 per cent among COVID-19-affected pregnancies, compared to only 6.8 per cent among those that were unaffected. This elevated risk was present even for mild cases of COVID-19 that did not require hospitalization.

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BORN is proud to partner with the CAN-COVID PREG network and to have contributed data for this important research. These results point to the importance of vaccination during pregnancy.