Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes, Maternal Complications, and Severe Illness Among US Delivery Hospitalizations With and Without a Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Diagnosis

Clin Infect Dis. 2021 Jul 15;73(Suppl 1):S24-S31. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciab344.


Background: Evidence on risk for adverse outcomes from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) among pregnant women is still emerging. We examined the association between COVID-19 at delivery and adverse pregnancy outcomes, maternal complications, and severe illness, and whether these associations differ by race/ethnicity, and describe discharge status by COVID-19 diagnosis and maternal complications.

Methods: Data from 703 hospitals in the Premier Healthcare Database during March-September 2020 were included. Adjusted risk ratios (aRRs) overall and stratified by race/ethnicity were estimated using Poisson regression with robust standard errors. Proportion not discharged home was calculated by maternal complications, stratified by COVID-19 diagnosis.

Results: Among 489 471 delivery hospitalizations, 6550 (1.3%) had a COVID-19 diagnosis. In adjusted models, COVID-19 was associated with increased risk for acute respiratory distress syndrome (aRR, 34.4), death (aRR, 17.0), sepsis (aRR, 13.6), mechanical ventilation (aRR, 12.7), shock (aRR, 5.1), intensive care unit admission (aRR, 3.6), acute renal failure (aRR, 3.5), thromboembolic disease (aRR, 2.7), adverse cardiac event/outcome (aRR, 2.2), and preterm labor with preterm delivery (aRR, 1.2). Risk for any maternal complications or for any severe illness did not significantly differ by race/ethnicity. Discharge status did not differ by COVID-19; however, among women with concurrent maternal complications, a greater proportion of those with (vs without) COVID-19 were not discharged home.

Conclusions: These findings emphasize the importance of implementing recommended prevention strategies to reduce risk for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and further inform counseling and clinical care for pregnant women during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keywords: COVID-19; delivery hospitalizations; race/ethnicity; retrospective cohort study; risk ratios.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 Testing
  • COVID-19*
  • Female
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Pandemics
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious* / diagnosis
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious* / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy Outcome / epidemiology
  • SARS-CoV-2