Women are more susceptible to Influenza infection and hospitalizations during pregnancy than normal days, revealed a study published in BMC Infectious Diseases.
Influenza is a viral infection that attacks the respiratory system. Influenza is commonly called the flu, but it’s not the same as stomach “flu” viruses that cause diarrhea and vomiting. Influenza virus infection is very common and a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in specific populations like pregnant women. The world health organization (WHO) recommends that pregnant women as they at a high risk of severe influenza infection outcomes which can be fetal of the child and the mother should be given the highest priority for vaccination. However, there only a few studies presenting evidence supporting this.
Scientists at McMaster University conducted an individual participant data meta-analysis to assess the risk for severe outcomes of influenza infection in pregnant women while adjusting for other prognostic factors.
The authors of the present study contacted authors of studies included in a recently published systematic review. We pooled the individual participant data of women of reproductive age and laboratory confirmation of influenza virus infection. We used a generalized linear mixed model and reported odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI).
- A total of 33 datasets with data on 186,656 individuals were available, including 36,498 eligible women of reproductive age and known pregnancy status.
- In the multivariable model, pregnancy was associated with 7 times higher risk of hospital admission, among patients receiving medical care as in- or outpatients, pregnancy was associated with a lower risk of admission to intensive care units, and was not significantly associated with death.
“The study found a higher risk of influenza-associated hospitalization among pregnant women as compared to non-pregnant women. We did not find a higher mortality rate or a higher likelihood of ICU admission among pregnant women who sought medical care. However, this study did not address whether a true community-based cohort of pregnant women is at higher risk of influenza-associated complications.” concluded the authors
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