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A new study, conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), has found that the SARC-CoV-2 virus that causes coronavirus might infect a higher proportion of pregnant women.

The ICMR study stated that pregnant women can develop the moderate-to-severe disease if infected with the Covid-19 virus.

The most complications observed among pregnant women were preterm delivery and hypertensive disorders in pregnancy.

Comorbidities such as anemia, tuberculosis, and diabetes mellitus were associated with an increased risk of maternal death in pregnant and post-partum women with COVID-19, the study added.

The ICMR study analysed the clinical characteristics and pregnancy outcomes of women infected from Covid-19 during the first wave of the pandemic in Maharashtra.

The analysis was based on the data from the PregCovid registry, a study of pregnant women and women in the post-partum period with a confirmed diagnosis of Covid-19.

The data analysed 4,203 pregnant women during the first wave (March 2020-January 2021). 534 (13%) were symptomatic, of which 382 (72%) had mild symptoms, 112 (21%) had moderate and 40 (7.5%) had severe Covid symptoms.

The study noted that that there were 3,203 live births, 77 miscarriages, and 834 undelivered pregnancies.

The proportion of pregnancy/foetal loss including stillbirths was 6%.

"The most common complication was preterm delivery (528, 16.3%) and hypertensive disorders in pregnancy (328, 10.1%). A total of 158 (3.8%) pregnant and post-partum women required intensive care, of which 152 (96%) were due to COVID-19 related complications," the findings of the study stated.

Besides, the case fatality rate was 0.8%. Higher fatality was observed in Pune (9/853, 1.1%), Marathwada (4/351, 1.1%) regions as compared to Vidarbha (9/1155, 0.8%), Mumbai Metropolitan (11/1684, 0.7%), and Khandesh (1/160, 0.6%) regions.

There were a total of 34 deaths reported among pregnant and post-partum women with COVID-19, the study said, adding out of 34 maternal deaths, 10 women died during the post-partum period.

"Pregnant women with COVID-19 need immediate medical attention from the healthcare system in India," the study added.

Pregnancy loss is a major health concern for obstetricians and whether Covid-19 is a contributing risk factor is an important aspect to be considered, it said.

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