Dr. Kristina Adams Waldorf, an ob-gyn with the University of Washington School of Medicine and senior author of the report (Photo Credit: University of Washington School of Medicine)

Dr. Kristina Adams Waldorf, an ob-gyn with the University of Washington School of Medicine and senior author of the report (Photo Credit: University of Washington School of Medicine)

UW study shows high COVID infection rates among pregnant women

Study shows infection rates to be two to four times higher than expected among minority groups.

A recently published study led by University of Washington researchers indicated that COVID-19 infection rates were relatively high among pregnant women.

The study, published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, estimated that COVID-19 infection rates are 70 percent higher among pregnant women than what was recorded among similar aged adults in Washington state.

“Higher infection rates in pregnant patients may be due to the over-representation of women in many professions and industries considered essential during the COVID-19 pandemic — including healthcare, education, service sectors,” said Erica Lokken, an epidemiologist at the UW School of Public Health. She added that pregnant women may also have larger households, children in daycare or playgroups, and be caregivers within an extended family.

The study also showed that rates of COVID-19 infection among pregnant women of color were disproportionately high as they recorded infection rates among pregnant minority groups that were two to three times higher than what was expected based on state race-ethnicity distributions from 2018.

“Our data indicates that pregnant people did not avoid the pandemic as we hoped that they would, and communities of color bore the greatest burden,” said Dr. Kristina Adams Waldorf, an OB-GYN with the University of Washington School of Medicine and the report’s senior author. “We were disheartened to see the higher infection rates in communities of color as well as in patients with limited English proficiency.”

According to the study, a high number of pregnant women infected with COVID-19 chose to receive their medical care in a language other than English. Adams Waldorf said that indicates a greater need for public health resources and vaccination outreach in these communities.

Adams Waldorf said that higher rates of infection among pregnant women coupled with elevated risk for severe illness and maternal mortality due to COVID-19 suggest that pregnant women should be prioritized to receive the vaccine.

“Many states have written pregnant women out of vaccine prioritization altogether,” she said.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@rentonreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.rentonreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

Police vehicle damaged after collision (Photo Credit: Renton Police Department)
Renton Police still looking to arrest suspect after officer involved hit and run

RPD spokesperson said suspect fled on foot after causing officer’s injury.

A landslide in December 2019 created a crack in this Fall City road, allowing for a one lane entry and exit. Courtesy of King County Road Services
WA Legislature grapples with funding roads, bridges

Roads and bridges repair programs in King County are underfunded, and state… Continue reading

File photo
Proposed bill aims to trade handcuffs for help when it comes to drug use

Supreme Court decision to strike down drug possesion law leaves oppurtunity to shift paradigm

Washington State Capitol Building in Olympia. File photo
House passes bill to increase financial reporting, transparency by healthcare providers

Bill’s prime sponsor says it will help address healthcare equity and affordability.

“The Color of Flight,” designed and sculpted by Kirk Reese at Sunset Neighborhood Park (photo credit: Renton Municipal Arts Commission)
Renton Municipal Arts Commission is giving grants for community art projects

Grants will be awarded ranging from $500 to $10,000 in an effort to encourage community art.

Freshwater variety of kokanee salmon from Lake Sammamish. File photo
Encouraging numbers for kokanee salmon spawn count

Lake Sammamish kokanee aren’t out of the woods by any stretch, but… Continue reading

In this file photo, Tayshon Cottrell dons his graduation cap and gown, along with a face mask reading: “Wear it! Save America” at Todd Beamer High School’s virtual graduation walk recording on May 20, 2020, in Federal Way. Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing
Law gives Washington high school seniors leeway to graduate

Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill that can waive some requirements for students who were on track before the pandemic.

Mercer Island School District first-graders returned to in-person classes on Jan. 19, 2021. Here, Northwood Elementary School students head into the building. Photo courtesy of the Mercer Island School District
Governor: Educators are now eligible for coronavirus vaccine

“This should give educators more confidence,” Jay Inslee said. Other frontline workers could soon be next.

Malden, after a wildfire burned down 80% of the town’s buildings in Eastern Washington. Courtesy photo
DNR commissioner seeks $125 million to fight wildfires

In Washington state last September, some 600,000 acres burned within 72 hours.

Most Read