The effects of COVID-19 disease during pregnancy and childbirth. A systematic review
More details
Hide details
University of Chile, Chile
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1096
Covid-19 pandemic has become a great public health issue, having a negative impact above the most vulnerable groups, such as childbearing people. World Health Organization (WHO) has considered this group as high-risk population in case of infection by SARS-CoV-2. Furthermore, the consequences this infection could have in fetuses and newborns are still unknown.

To describe the effects of COVID-19 during pregnancy and childbirth, during a pandemic context.

An article review was performed about SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy, its effects on pregnant people, obstetrics and perinatal outcomes, that had been published between January 1st 2020 and July 5th 2022. We found 245 publications, studying 18.191 pregnant people who had been diagnosed with COVID-19 at some point during their pregnancy.

Average age was 30,7 years old, 39% had some pre-existing morbidity, ¼ was obese. 53% of childbearing people were asymptomatic to the disease. Among symptomatic patients, 72% only had mild symptoms, the most frequent were cough (24%) and fever (21%). 4,3% of people from this group needed ICU hospitalization. 12.49% presented some obstetric disease, the most common been gestational diabetes (5.04%). 49.31% of deliveries were cesarean sections, and there were 158 maternal deaths. The mean gestational age at birth was 36.14 weeks, with 16.98% of preterm infants. RT-PCR positivity in newborns was 3.13%, and 0.78% of newborns died during neonatal period.

More than half of COVID+ pregnant people presented the infection asymptomatically, those who had symptoms had a mild disease in more than 2/3 of the cases. Maternal mortality was 4 times higher than the global rate. The number of cesarean sections and premature births also increased, mainly in cases of severe-critical disease. It remains complex to reach conclusions about vertical transmission of the virus, therefore more studies are needed.