medwireNews: COVID-19 vaccination should be actively promoted for women with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs) who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, say researchers.
Their findings, presented in a poster at ACR Convergence 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, showed a higher rate of preterm birth among 47 unvaccinated or partially vaccinated (one dose) women with RMD who developed COVID-19 during their pregnancy than 26 similar women who were fully vaccinated (two or more doses), at 29.5% versus 18.2%. The between-group difference did not reach statistical significance, however.
The most common RMDs were systemic lupus erythematosus (23%) and rheumatoid arthritis (21.9%), and the majority (70%) of patients were in remission when diagnosed with COVID-19.
At the time of data extraction, there were 55 completed pregnancies, 50 of which were live births. The most frequent neonatal complication was low birthweight (<2500 g), occurring in 24% of live births, and small for gestational age (below the 10th percentile), occurring in 14%.
Most of the women were unvaccinated when diagnosed with COVID-19, while 4% were partially vaccinated and 36% fully vaccinated.
Hospital admission was necessary for 21% of women, regardless of vaccination status, but only 16% needed COVID-19 specific medication.
“This would imply COVID-19 severity was similar between vaccinated and partially vaccinated or unvaccinated women,” said Sinead Maguire (St James’ Hospital, Dublin, Ireland) in a press release. “This was an unexpected result, given the differences in obstetric and neonatal outcomes.”
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15 November 2022: The coronavirus pandemic is affecting all healthcare professionals across the globe. Medicine Matters’ focus, in this difficult time, is the dissemination of the latest data to support you in your research and clinical practice, based on the scientific literature. We will update the information we provide on the site, as the data are published. However, please refer to your own professional and governmental guidelines for the latest guidance in your own country.
ACR Convergence 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA: November 10–14