HEALTH

U of U study focuses on pregnant women and COVID-19

Oct 11, 2020, 2:59 PM
fairness pregnant...
FILE: Image of a pregnant woman. Photo credit: Deseret News, Sara Reid

SALT LAKE CITY — The University of Utah is conducting a study about how COVID-19 affects pregnant women.  

Dr. Torri Metz, Associate Professor and Vice-Chair for Research in the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department, says they are gathering data.  “I would say the jury is largely out on whether pregnant women get sicker than non-pregnant adults,” said Dr. Metz. “[But] we do always worry about pregnant women and viruses because [they] are relatively immuno-compromised [when carrying.]”

Are 25% of pregnant women “long haulers?”

Another ongoing study from scientists at UC San Francisco (UCSF) finds some startling conclusions.  It says that COVID-19 symptoms like fatigue, head and body aches, and shortness of breath, linger in pregnant women, which leads the researchers to refer to those patients as having Long Haul Syndrome. The study finds that 1 out of 4 pregnant women had symptoms that remained 2 months after diagnosis.

But Dr. Metz says there are limitations in that study, something that the UCSF doctors admit.  The researchers say many of the study’s participants are health care workers, and this might may skew the results.  Nearly 41% of the people in the study have an income of $100,000 or more.  This makes the doctors think the results are “rosier” than what might be reflected in the general population. 

Metz also says they didn’t have a control population of non-pregnant women in that study, so they can’t be sure if pregnant women are more at risk for Long Haul.

Both Metz and those scientists think broader and longer studies need to be done. 

Population data vs. pregnant 

Dr. Metz says when you compare the “initial data” from the general population with COVID-19 against pregnant women who get it, there doesn’t seem to be much difference.  “We do see a similar rate of severe and critical infections, so we don’t think there is a stark difference between pregnant women and women who are not.”

Metz says their study is being conducted with a large network of maternal researchers.  She says they are drawing on data from across the country. 

Study could show how pandemic affects moms and babies born during COVID-19

Dr. Metz says they are also looking at pregnancy in general during the pandemic.  “Even if [pregnant women] don’t get COVID infections … do they have different outcomes than women that did not deliver during the pandemic?  We know that women are under a lot of stress right now and there have been a lot of changes to health care.”

Dr. Metz says they are looking at a pool of 20,000 women who are delivering during the time of COVID-19 in comparison to a similar pool who delivered last year. 

How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronavirus is transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
  • Get a flu shot.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A

Utah’s Coronavirus Information

UtahState Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Health

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service has issued a recall for mil...
Simone Seikaly

Check your pantry, a Conagra canned meat recall may affect you

Millions of pounds of canned meat and poultry products (mainly Vienna sausages) are involved in the Conagra recall.
13 hours ago
Two temporary federal pandemic emergency assistance programs are coming to an end in the coming mon...
Waverly Golden

As two federal pandemic emergency-assistance programs near an end, Cox has solutions

Two temporary federal pandemic emergency assistance programs are coming to an end in the coming months due to more job opportunities.
13 hours ago
FILE - A doctor loads a dose of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe, Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, at ...
Aimee Cobabe

Bill banning vaccine passports heading to Utah Senate

A bill to ban vaccine passports is heading out of the Utah House and into the Utah Senate. The bill is similar to a failed bill from 2022.
5 days ago
A bill on transgender healthcare — banning transgender-related surgeries and puberty blockers for...
Eliza Pace, KSL TV and Aimee Cobabe, KSL NewsRadio

Utah Senate approves changes to transgender care bill, passes on to Gov. Cox

SB16 bans gender-confirming surgeries for minors and also places a moratorium on puberty blockers for minors.
8 days ago
Havasu Falls spills into the water pools below in Supai, Arizona, in October of 2016. Photo credit:...
Forrest Brown, CNN

Grand Canyon’s Havasu Falls to reopen to visitors after 3-year closure

 (CNN) — Havasu Falls, one of the most intriguing features of the Grand Canyon system, will be reopening to visitors after a three-year closure caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. But it’s with a catch. The reopening is scheduled for February 1; however, access will be limited initially to a certain, small group. People whose previous […]
8 days ago
White carnations representing each of the 1,746 unborn babies that were aborted in Utah in 2022 are...
Allessandra Harris and Simone Seikaly

Speeches, silence, during Pro-Life Utah memorial at the Capitol

About 100 people including Utah lawmakers and religious leaders attended the memorial on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023.
9 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
U of U study focuses on pregnant women and COVID-19