In this regard, the authors of the study stated that both the need for mechanical ventilation and the admission in the ICU were “distinct proxies for illness severity” for the coronavirus infection.
Finally, the study showed that the death rate was the same between pregnant and non-pregnant patients.
The Study in Sweden
Aside from the abovementioned research, there was also a study in Sweden. The research aimed to determine if pregnancy causes more severe COVID symptoms. However, this study is so much smaller than the one done in the United States.
In this research, the authors calculated the rate of ICU admission among COVID-infected pregnant and non-pregnant women. During the time of the study, there were only 13 COVID-positive pregnant patients and 40 infected, non-pregnant women.
Results showed that the infected, pregnant participants are 6 times more likely to be admitted in the ICU than the non-pregnant patients.
The Study in the United Kingdom
The research in the United Kingdom had 427 COVID-positive pregnant participants. Most of them only needed care in the ward. However, 1 in 10 participants required confinement in the intensive care unit. Unfortunately, 5 of the patients died, although the experts were unable to determine if the cause of death was COVID-related.
What the study emphasized is this: many of the women who had severe symptoms were in their third trimester. Furthermore, the following factors may also cause severe COVID infections among pregnant women:
- Being 35 and above
- Being overweight or obese
- Having an underlying health problem
Possible Reasons Why COVID is More Severe During Pregnancy
But, why does a pregnant patient with COVID infection more likely to have severe symptoms?
According to experts, the reason could be two-fold.
First, pregnant women already have compromised immunity. This is because the mother’s body doesn’t want to have an “anti-fetal immune response”. To preserve the baby’s health, the mother’s immunity, though not disabled, is partially reduced.