Clinical manifestations, risk factors, and maternal and perinatal outcomes of coronavirus disease 2019 in pregnancy: living systematic review and meta-analysis

BMJ. 2020 Sep 1;370:m3320. doi: 10.1136/bmj.m3320.


Objective: To determine the clinical manifestations, risk factors, and maternal and perinatal outcomes in pregnant and recently pregnant women with suspected or confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (covid-19).

Design: Living systematic review and meta-analysis.

Data sources: Medline, Embase, Cochrane database, WHO COVID-19 database, China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), and Wanfang databases from 1 December 2019 to 6 October 2020, along with preprint servers, social media, and reference lists.

Study selection: Cohort studies reporting the rates, clinical manifestations (symptoms, laboratory and radiological findings), risk factors, and maternal and perinatal outcomes in pregnant and recently pregnant women with suspected or confirmed covid-19.

Data extraction: At least two researchers independently extracted the data and assessed study quality. Random effects meta-analysis was performed, with estimates pooled as odds ratios and proportions with 95% confidence intervals. All analyses will be updated regularly.

Results: 192 studies were included. Overall, 10% (95% confidence interval 7% to 12%; 73 studies, 67 271 women) of pregnant and recently pregnant women attending or admitted to hospital for any reason were diagnosed as having suspected or confirmed covid-19. The most common clinical manifestations of covid-19 in pregnancy were fever (40%) and cough (41%). Compared with non-pregnant women of reproductive age, pregnant and recently pregnant women with covid-19 were less likely to have symptoms (odds ratio 0.28, 95% confidence interval 0.13 to 0.62; I2=42.9%) or report symptoms of fever (0.49, 0.38 to 0.63; I2=40.8%), dyspnoea (0.76, 0.67 to 0.85; I2=4.4%) and myalgia (0.53, 0.36 to 0.78; I2=59.4%). The odds of admission to an intensive care unit (odds ratio 2.13, 1.53 to 2.95; I2=71.2%), invasive ventilation (2.59, 2.28 to 2.94; I2=0%) and need for extra corporeal membrane oxygenation (2.02, 1.22 to 3.34; I2=0%) were higher in pregnant and recently pregnant than non-pregnant reproductive aged women. Overall, 339 pregnant women (0.02%, 59 studies, 41 664 women) with confirmed covid-19 died from any cause. Increased maternal age (odds ratio 1.83, 1.27 to 2.63; I2=43.4%), high body mass index (2.37, 1.83 to 3.07; I2=0%), any pre-existing maternal comorbidity (1.81, 1.49 to 2.20; I2=0%), chronic hypertension (2.0, 1.14 to 3.48; I2=0%), pre-existing diabetes (2.12, 1.62 to 2.78; I2=0%), and pre-eclampsia (4.21, 1.27 to 14.0; I2=0%) were associated with severe covid-19 in pregnancy. In pregnant women with covid-19, increased maternal age, high body mass index, non-white ethnicity, any pre-existing maternal comorbidity including chronic hypertension and diabetes, and pre-eclampsia were associated with serious complications such as admission to an intensive care unit, invasive ventilation and maternal death. Compared to pregnant women without covid-19, those with the disease had increased odds of maternal death (odds ratio 2.85, 1.08 to 7.52; I2=0%), of needing admission to the intensive care unit (18.58, 7.53 to 45.82; I2=0%), and of preterm birth (1.47, 1.14 to 1.91; I2=18.6%). The odds of admission to the neonatal intensive care unit (4.89, 1.87 to 12.81, I2=96.2%) were higher in babies born to mothers with covid-19 versus those without covid-19.

Conclusion: Pregnant and recently pregnant women with covid-19 attending or admitted to the hospitals for any reason are less likely to manifest symptoms such as fever, dyspnoea, and myalgia, and are more likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit or needing invasive ventilation than non-pregnant women of reproductive age. Pre-existing comorbidities, non-white ethnicity, chronic hypertension, pre-existing diabetes, high maternal age, and high body mass index are risk factors for severe covid-19 in pregnancy. Pregnant women with covid-19 versus without covid-19 are more likely to deliver preterm and could have an increased risk of maternal death and of being admitted to the intensive care unit. Their babies are more likely to be admitted to the neonatal unit.

Systematic review registration: PROSPERO CRD42020178076.

Readers' note: This article is a living systematic review that will be updated to reflect emerging evidence. Updates may occur for up to two years from the date of original publication. This version is update 1 of the original article published on 1 September 2020 (BMJ 2020;370:m3320), and previous updates can be found as data supplements ( When citing this paper please consider adding the update number and date of access for clarity.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Betacoronavirus*
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections* / diagnosis
  • Coronavirus Infections* / epidemiology
  • Coronavirus Infections* / etiology
  • Coronavirus Infections* / therapy
  • Female
  • Global Health / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care, Neonatal / statistics & numerical data
  • Pandemics*
  • Pneumonia, Viral* / diagnosis
  • Pneumonia, Viral* / epidemiology
  • Pneumonia, Viral* / etiology
  • Pneumonia, Viral* / therapy
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious* / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious* / etiology
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious* / therapy
  • Premature Birth / epidemiology
  • Premature Birth / virology
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors
  • SARS-CoV-2