A new study reveals that pregnant women are at higher risk of death and severe illness from COVID-19 than women who are not pregnant.
The study from the Centers for Disease Control is the biggest to reveal how COVID-19 affects pregnant women.
The study revealed that 70 percent of pregnant women are more likely to die from the virus than nonpregnant women with COVID-19.
“We are now saying pregnant women are at increased risk for severe illness. Previously we said they ‘might be’ at increased risk for severe illness,” Sascha Ellington, a health scientist with the CDC and one of the authors of the new study revealed to The New York Times.
The CDC researchers analyzed the outcomes of 409,462 women between the ages of 15 and 44 who tested positive for COVID-19 and were experiencing symptoms.
Of those women, 23,434 were pregnant during their illness.
The researchers discovered that in addition to being at a higher risk of death, pregnant women were also three times more likely to require intensive care and more than three times more likely to be put on a ventilator.
That being said, the overall risk of death or severe illness from COVID-19 is still low, as pregnant women are typically young and healthy enough to carry a child — which gives them a better chance against the virus.
Of the 23,434 pregnant women who tested positive for COVID-19 that were studied, 34 died — which is a death rate of 0.2. And for nonpregnant women, the death rate was 0.1.
“The absolute risk of these severe outcomes is low among women 15 to 44, regardless of pregnancy status, but what we do see is an increased risk associated with pregnancy,” Ellington stated.
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