Fetal death after the introduction of COVID-19 mitigation measures in Sweden, Denmark and Norway: a registry-based study

Sci Rep. 2022 Nov 30;12(1):20625. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-25036-1.


It remains unclear whether the rate of fetal death has changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. We assessed the impact of COVID-19 mitigation measures on fetal death in Sweden (449,347 births), Denmark (290,857 pregnancies) and Norway (261,057 pregnancies) using robust population-based registry data. We used Cox regression to assess the impact of the implementation of pandemic mitigation measures on March 12th, 2020, on miscarriage (fetal loss before gestational week 22) and stillbirth (fetal loss after gestational week 22). A total of 11% of 551,914 pregnancies in Denmark and Norway ended in miscarriage, while the proportion of stillbirths among 937,174 births across the three countries was 0.3%. There was no difference in the risk of fetal death during the year following pandemic mitigation measures. For miscarriage, the combined hazard ratio (HR) for Norway and Denmark was 1.01 (95% CI 0.98, 1.03), and for stillbirth, the combined HR for all three countries was 0.99 (95% CI 0.89, 1.09). We observed a slightly decreased risk of miscarriage during the first 4 months, with an HR of 0.94 (95% CI 0.90, 0.99) after lockdown. In conclusion, the risk of fetal death did not change after the implementation of COVID-19 pandemic mitigation measures in the three Scandinavian countries.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Spontaneous* / epidemiology
  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • COVID-19* / prevention & control
  • Communicable Disease Control
  • Denmark / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Pandemics / prevention & control
  • Pregnancy
  • Registries
  • Stillbirth / epidemiology
  • Sweden / epidemiology