Adverse perinatal outcomes in a large United States birth cohort during the COVID-19 pandemic

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



American journal of obstetrics & gynecology MFM








COVID-19; adverse perinatal outcomes; high-risk pregnancy


BACKGROUND: The impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on adverse perinatal outcomes remains unclear. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to investigate whether COVID-19 is associated with adverse perinatal outcomes in a large national dataset and to examine the rates of adverse outcomes during the pandemic compared with the rates of adverse outcomes during the prepandemic period. STUDY DESIGN: This observational cohort study included 683,905 patients, between the ages of 12 and 50, hospitalized for childbirth and abortion between January 1, 2019, and May 31, 2021. During the prepandemic period, 271,444 women were hospitalized for childbirth. During the pandemic, 308,532 women were hospitalized for childbirth, and 2708 women had COVID-19. The associations between COVID-19 and inhospital adverse perinatal outcomes were examined using propensity score-adjusted logistic regression. RESULTS: Women with COVID-19 were more likely to experience both early and late preterm birth (adjusted odds ratios, 1.38 [95% confidence interval, 1.1-1.7] and 1.62 [95% confidence interval, 1.3-1.7], respectively), preeclampsia (adjusted odds ratio, 1.2 [95% confidence interval, 1.0-1.4]), disseminated intravascular coagulopathy (adjusted odds ratio, 1.57 [95% confidence interval, 1.1-2.2]), pulmonary edema (adjusted odds ratio, 2.7 [95% confidence interval, 1.1-6.3]), and need for mechanical ventilation (adjusted odds ratio, 8.1 [95% confidence interval, 3.8-17.3]) than women without COVID-19. There was no significant difference in the prevalence of stillbirth among women with COVID-19 (16/2708) and women without COVID-19 (174/39,562) (P=.257). There was no difference in adverse outcomes among women who delivered during the pandemic vs prepandemic period. Combined inhospital mortality was significantly higher for women with COVID-19 (147 [95% confidence interval, 3.0-292.0] vs 2.5 [95% confidence interval, 0.0-7.5] deaths per 100,000 women). Women diagnosed with COVID-19 within 30 days before hospitalization were more likely to experience early preterm birth, placental abruption, and mechanical ventilation than women diagnosed with COVID-19 >30 days before hospitalization for childbirth (4.0% vs 2.4% for early preterm birth [adjusted odds ratio, 1.7; 95% confidence interval, 1.1-2.7]; 2.2% vs 1.2% for placental abruption [adjusted odds ratio, 1.86; 95% confidence interval, 1.0-3.4]; and 0.9% vs 0.1% for mechanical ventilation [adjusted odds ratio, 13.7; 95% confidence interval, 1.8-107.2]). CONCLUSION: Women with COVID-19 had a higher prevalence of adverse perinatal outcomes and increased in-hospital mortality, with the highest risk occurring when the diagnosis was within 30 days of hospitalization, raising the possibility of a high-risk period.


Obstetrics and Gynecology