COVID-19: Potential Negative Impacts on Maternal and Infant Health Outcomes Interview with:

Nathalie Auger Professeure agrégée de clinique École de santé publique - Département de médecine sociale et preventive University of Montreal


Nathalie Auger
Professeure agrégée de clinique
École de santé publique – Département de médecine sociale et preventive
University of Montreal What is the background for this study?

Response: COVID-19, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), has been a major public health concern. The number of infected pregnant women continues to increase. Pregnant women and infants are particularly susceptible to COVID-19 because the physiologic changes of pregnancy involve cardiovascular, respiratory, and immune changes that may alter the response to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Fetuses may be exposed to SARS-CoV-2 during critical periods of development. The nature of the association between COVID-19 and pregnancy outcomes remains unclear and meta-analyses of pregnant women with COVID-19 are lacking. What are the main findings?

 Response: Our systematic review and meta-analysis suggests that pregnant women with COVID-19 have an increased risk of preeclampsia, stillbirth, preterm birth, and neonatal intensive care unit admission. Symptomatic COVID-19 was associated with increased risk of cesarean delivery and preterm birth compared with asymptomatic COVID-19. Severe COVID-19 was strongly associated with a range of adverse pregnancy outcomes including preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, preterm birth, and intensive care requirements compared with mild COVID-19. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Pregnant patients should be aware of the potential negative impacts of COVID-19 on maternal and infant health outcomes.

Clinicians should be aware of the risk of preeclampsia, preterm birth, stillbirth, and other adverse outcomes when managing COVID-19 pregnancies and adopt effective approaches to prevent or reduce risks to women and fetuses. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: Future studies are needed with more robust data to validate or substantiate our findings, better understand the pathophysiologic pathways that explain the associations, and identify effective approaches to prevent and treat adverse outcomes in pregnant women infected with SARS-CoV-2. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve and new variants emerge, patients and clinicians should keep updated on the latest evidence and guidelines for the management of COVID-19 in pregnancy.

Any disclosures? None.


The impact of COVID-19 on pregnancy outcomes: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Shu Qin Wei, Marianne Bilodeau-Bertrand, Shiliang Liu, Nathalie Auger
CMAJ Mar 2021, cmaj.202604; DOI: 10.1503/cmaj.202604



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Last Updated on March 19, 2021 by Marie Benz MD FAAD