This study sought to quantify influenza-related serious morbidity in pregnant women, as measured by hospitalizations for or death from selected acute cardiopulmonary conditions during predefined influenza seasons. The study population included women aged 15-44 years who were enrolled in the Tennessee Medicaid program for at least 180 days between 1974 and 1993. In a nested case-control study, 4,369 women with a first study event during influenza season were compared with 21,845 population controls. The odds ratios associated with study events increased from 1.44 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.97-2.15) for women at 14-20 weeks' gestation to 4.67 (95% CI 3.42-6.39) for those at 37-42 weeks in comparison with postpartum women. A retrospective cohort analysis, which controlled for risk factors identified in the case-control study, identified 22,824 study events during 1,393,166 women-years of follow-up. Women in their third trimester without other identified risk factors for influenza morbidity had an event rate of 21.7 per 10,000 women-months during influenza season. Approximately half of this morbidity, 10.5 (95% CI 6.7-14.3) events per 10,000 women-months, was attributable to influenza. Influenza-attributable risks in comparable nonpregnant and postpartum women were 1.91 (95% CI 1.51-2.31) and 1.16 (95% CI -0.09 to 2.42) per 10,000 women-months, respectively. The data suggest that, out of every 10,000 women in their third trimester without other identified risk factors who experience an average influenza season of 2.5 months, 25 will be hospitalized with influenza-related morbidity.