Change in the Incidence of Stillbirth and Preterm Delivery During the COVID-19 Pandemic

UK study reported higher incidence of stillbirth during pandemic (n = 16 [9.31/1000 births]; none associated with COVID-19) vs prepandemic period (n = 4 [2.38/1000 births]; difference, 6.93/1000 births; 95% CI, 1.83-12.0; P = 0.01) with no differences in pre-term delivery.

SPS commentary:

Authors conclude that although none of the stillbirths in the pandemic period were among women with COVID-19, a direct consequence of SARS-CoV-2 infection is possible as surveillance studies in pregnant women report that as much as 90% of SARS-CoV-2–positive cases were asymptomatic.  Also, amongst other factors, authors hypothesise that the increase in stillbirths may have resulted from indirect effects such as reluctance to attend hospital when needed (eg, with reduced foetal movements), fear of contracting infection, or not wanting to add to the National Health Service burden.


Journal of the American Medical Association