Covid-19 infection in pregnant women in Dubai: a case-control study
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Background: Whilst the impact of Covid-19 infection in pregnant women has been examined, there is a scarcity of data on pregnant women in the Middle East. Thus, the aim of this study was to examine the impact of Covid-19 infection on pregnant women in the United Arab Emirates population. Methods: A case-control study was carried out to compare the clinical course and outcome of pregnancy in 79 pregnant women with Covid-19 and 85 non-pregnant women with Covid-19 admitted to Latifa Hospital in Dubai between March and June 2020. Results: Although Pregnant women presented with fewer symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, and shortness of breath compared to non-pregnant women; yet they ran a much more severe course of illness. On admission, 12/79 (15.2%) Vs 2/85 (2.4%) had a chest radiograph score [on a scale 1-6] of ≥3 (p-value = 0.0039). On discharge, 6/79 (7.6%) Vs 1/85 (1.2%) had a score ≥3 (p-value = 0.0438). They also had much higher levels of laboratory indicators of severity with values above reference ranges for C-Reactive Protein [(28 (38.3%) Vs 13 (17.6%)] with p < 0.004; and for D-dimer [32 (50.8%) Vs 3(6%)]; with p < 0.001. They required more ICU admissions: 10/79 (12.6%) Vs 1/85 (1.2%) with p=0.0036; and sufered more complications: 9/79 (11.4%) Vs 1/85 (1.2%) with p=0.0066; of Covid-19 infection, particularly in late pregnancy. Conclusions: Pregnant women presented with fewer Covid-19 symptoms but ran a much more severe course of illness compared to non-pregnant women with the disease. They had worse chest radiograph scores and much higher levels of laboratory indicators of disease severity. They had more ICU admissions and sufered more complications of Covid-19 infection, such as risk for miscarriage and preterm deliveries. Pregnancy with Covid-19 infection, could, therefore, be categorised as high-risk pregnancy and requires management by an obstetric and medical multidisciplinary team.