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Association between acquiring SARS-CoV-2 during pregnancy and post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection: RECOVER electronic health record cohort analysis

Bruno, AM; Zang, C; Xu, Z; et. al.RECOVER EHR CohortRECOVER Pregnancy Cohort, eClinicalMedicine

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July 2024




Background: Little is known about post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC) after acquiring SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy. We aimed to evaluate the association between acquiring SARS-CoV-2 during pregnancy compared with acquiring SARS-CoV-2 outside of pregnancy and the development of PASC. Methods: This retrospective cohort study from the Researching COVID to Enhance Recovery (RECOVER) Initiative Patient-Centred Clinical Research Network (PCORnet) used electronic health record (EHR) data from 19 U.S. health systems. Females aged 18-49 years with lab-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection from March 2020 through June 2022 were included. Validated algorithms were used to identify pregnancies with a delivery at >20 weeks' gestation. The primary outcome was PASC, as previously defined by computable phenotype in the adult non-pregnant PCORnet EHR dataset, identified 30-180 days post-SARS-CoV-2 infection. Secondary outcomes were the 24 component diagnoses contributing to the PASC phenotype definition. Univariable comparisons were made for baseline characteristics between individuals with SARS-CoV-2 infection acquired during pregnancy compared with outside of pregnancy. Using inverse probability of treatment weighting to adjust for baseline differences, the association between SARS-CoV-2 infection acquired during pregnancy and the selected outcomes was modelled. The incident risk is reported as the adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) with 95% confidence intervals. Findings: In total, 83,915 females with SARS-CoV-2 infection acquired outside of pregnancy and 5397 females with SARS-CoV-2 infection acquired during pregnancy were included in analysis. Non-pregnant females with SARS-CoV-2 infection were more likely to be older and have comorbid health conditions. SARS-CoV-2 infection acquired in pregnancy as compared with acquired outside of pregnancy was associated with a lower incidence of PASC (25.5% vs 33.9%; aHR 0.85, 95% CI 0.80-0.91). SARS-CoV-2 infection acquired in pregnant females was associated with increased risk for some PASC component diagnoses including abnormal heartbeat (aHR 1.67, 95% CI 1.43-1.94), abdominal pain (aHR 1.34, 95% CI 1.16-1.55), and thromboembolism (aHR 1.88, 95% CI 1.17-3.04), but decreased risk for other diagnoses including malaise (aHR 0.35, 95% CI 0.27-0.47), pharyngitis (aHR 0.36, 95% CI 0.26-0.48) and cognitive problems (aHR 0.39, 95% CI 0.27-0.56). Interpretation: SARS-CoV-2 infection acquired during pregnancy was associated with lower risk of development of PASC at 30-180 days after incident SARS-CoV-2 infection in this nationally representative sample. These findings may be used to counsel pregnant and pregnant capable individuals, and direct future prospective study. Funding: National Institutes of Health (NIH) Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) OT2HL16184. 


Ann M Bruno, Chengxi Zang, Zhengxing Xu, Fei Wang, Mark G Weiner, Nick Guthe, Megan Fitzgerald, Rainu Kaushal, Thomas W Carton, Torri D Metz


PASC; Pregnancy; SARS-CoV-2 infection



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