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Being infected with Covid in the last trimester increases the risk of premature birth by up to seven times

To date, studies on pregnancy and Covid infection have been somewhat limited, most small and restricted to hospitalized patients, but this study of five thousand pregnant women sheds a little more light on the effects of coronavirus on pregnancy in each trimester.

Scientists at Maccabi Healthcare Services in Tel Aviv, Israel, tracked 2,753 women who tested positive for Covid-19 at any stage of their pregnancy, and compared them to the same number of uninfected pregnant women to assess risk . of premature labor .

The study was carried out between February 2020 and July 2021, and was published in the scientific journal PLOS One and concludes that getting Covid at the end of pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of premature birth, up to seven times more in the last weeks. . That is, the more advanced the pregnancy, the greater the risk.

The more advanced the pregnancy, the greater the risk.

Of the infected women, 17.4% contracted Covid-19 during the first trimester, 34.2% during the second and 48.4% during the third trimester.

While infections in the first and second trimesters were not associated with giving birth before 37 weeks (remember that from that week is a full-term delivery), infections that occurred during the third trimester had a higher risk of delivery premature.

During the first six months (about 27 weeks) of pregnancy, having Covid-19 was not linked to an increased risk of preterm birth.

Women who became infected in the past three months, from week 28 onwards, were more than twice as likely to have a preterm birth than those who did not test positive.

And having Covid-19 after week 34 was linked to a seven times higher risk , regardless of the severity of the infection. The researchers did not take into account the women’s vaccination status.

They were also able to observe that there was a lower rate of water breaking before labor began in infected women (39.1%) compared to uninfected women (58.3%), and the rates of caesarean sections and loss of babies were similar in both groups.

“The results are encouraging and reassuring that COVID-19 infection during pregnancy is not associated with any type of pregnancy loss . However, it should be remembered that the research group tested pre-Delta variants of COVID, and did not refers to the dominant variant today, which is Omicron. We continue to conduct research to provide real-world data and insights to the public and decision makers,” Dr. Tal Patalon, Director of Kahn-Sagol-Maccabi ( KSM), the research and innovation center of Maccabi Healthcare Services in Israel.

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