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Newborns of covid-19 mothers at higher health risk, says study

There were significant differences between COVID-19-positive and healthy controls included higher rates of GDM, low lymphocyte count, which were significantly lower, postpartum haemorrhage, among others.Premium
There were significant differences between COVID-19-positive and healthy controls included higher rates of GDM, low lymphocyte count, which were significantly lower, postpartum haemorrhage, among others.

  • Scientists found covid-19 in the third trimester of pregnancy “has clinical implications, albeit at lower rates than expected, once asymptomatic patients are taken into account

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NEW DELHI: There is an increased risk of poorer outcomes for newborns and symptomatic women with covid-19, as per a new study published in the Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine on Monday.

Doing the study in Mayanei Hayeshua Medical Center in Israel, assessing 2,471 women in the third trimester of their pregnancy, close to their delivery, researchers found “significant differences" for symptomatic covid positive patients including higher rates of gestational diabetes, lower white blood cell counts and heavier bleeding during delivery, whilst respiratory complications were witnessed in their babies.

Scientists found covid-19 in the third trimester of pregnancy “has clinical implications, albeit at lower rates than expected, once asymptomatic patients are taken into account. 

"Our analysis finds there were no significant increase in cesarean delivery in women, who were covid-19 positive and the incidence of preterm deliveries was not significantly different among the three groups (healthy, covid positive asymptomatic, covid positive symptomatic). Most pregnancy and delivery outcomes were similar between covid-19-positive and -negative parturients (a woman about to give birth; in labour)," said lead author Dr Elior Eliasi.

"However, there were significant differences between the COVID-19-positive and healthy controls included higher rates of GDM (gestational diabetes), low lymphocyte counts (white blood cell count) which were significantly lower, postpartum haemorrhage (bleeding during birth), and neonatal respiratory complications," said Eliasi, adding that the findings support the importance of vaccinating all pregnant women at all stages of pregnancy.

The study looked at births at the hospital between 26 March and 30 September 2020. A total of 93% of women admitted to the labour ward during this period were negative for covid-19. Of the covid-19-positive patients, 67% were asymptomatic.

On an average, increased risk of incidence of adverse outcomes was 13.8% higher for asymptomatic covid patients and 19.6% higher for those symptomatic. 

"More data is now needed to better delineate the differences between pregnancy outcomes seen in certain populations, potentially related to different viral characteristics (subtypes, viral load), patient epigenetics, or other factors," the authors state in the study. “Additionally, the effects of maternal infection on the fetus both in terms of symptomatic maternal illness and vertical viral transmission remain to be further investigated, the scientists said.

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