Pre-pregnancy health affects COVID-19 infection severity

A study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that COVID-19 infections severely affect pregnant women with existing health challenges.

Dr. Kristina Adams Waldorf, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at UW School of Medicine, says one of the main findings is that most of the women with severe infections were overweight or obese, or had other underlying conditions such as asthma or high blood pressure. 

"Pregnant women need to know that they represent a special and high risk group for COVID-19 pneumonia," Dr. Adams Waldorf says. "We would like them to take extra precautions in terms of staying at home, washing their hands, wearing cloth masks and being very careful when they do need to go out to wash their hands and not touch their face."

The next steps for this research is to expand the study and determine what public health messages could better protect those who are pregnant.

See our related news release.

UW Medicine