COVID-19: Pregnant Women and Their Babies At Higher Risk of Complications Interview with:

Prof. Papageorghiou

Prof. Papageorghiou

Aris Papageorghiou MBChB, MRCOG
Professor of Fetal Medicine and the Clinical Research Director
Oxford Maternal and Perinatal Health Institute
University of Oxford What is the background for this study?

Response: Our study was really guided by a key question: does Covid-19 in pregnancy increase the risk of adverse maternal and neonatal outcomes as compared with pregnant women who do not have the infection?

The question is highly relevant because of the known deleterious effects of other coronavirus infections in pregnancy, e.g. SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus).

In order to answer this question we undertook this multinational cohort study. What are the main findings?

Response: Covid-19 in pregnancy was associated with consistent and substantial increases in severe maternal morbidity and mortality and neonatal complications, when pregnant women with and without Covid-19 were compared.

Although pregnant women with and without the diagnosis had broadly similar characteristics, women with Covid-19 diagnosis were at higher risk for preeclampsia/eclampsia, severe infections, intensive care unit (ICU) admission, maternal mortality, preterm birth – in particular medically-indicated preterm birth and consequently higher rates of an index of severe neonatal morbidity and mortality.

Importantly, asymptomatic women with Covid-19 diagnosis had similar outcomes to non-infected women, except for preeclampsia. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: The findings should alert clinicians and women to implement strictly all the recommended Covid-19 preventive measures.


Villar J, Ariff S, Gunier RB, et al. Maternal and Neonatal Morbidity and Mortality Among Pregnant Women With and Without COVID-19 InfectionThe INTERCOVID Multinational Cohort StudyJAMA Pediatr. Published online April 22, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2021.1050



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Last Updated on April 23, 2021 by Marie Benz MD FAAD