May 19, 2020 / 3:56 PM / 7 days ago

NIH to study how COVID-19 pandemic may have affected pregnancy outcomes in U.S

(Reuters) - The National Institutes of Health (NIH) said on Tuesday it will study whether changes to the healthcare delivery system implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic have led to more pregnancy-related complications in the United States.

The study will also assess the risk of pregnant COVID-19 patients transmitting the virus to their fetus, and monitor the newborns until they are discharged from the hospital.

Researchers from the Maternal-Fetal Medicine Units Network, a group of 12 U.S. clinical centers, plan to look at medical records of 21,000 women to understand the effects of COVID-19 during and after pregnancy.

They will also monitor more than 1,500 pregnant COVID-19 patients for six weeks after childbirth.

A separate study in the UK earlier this month by Oxford University and Britain’s Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists suggested mothers-to-be are at no greater risk of severe COVID-19 than the wider population.

However, most expectant mothers who do develop the serious illness tend to be in the later stages of pregnancy, according to this study. (

Reporting by Vishwadha Chander in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli

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