Objectives: Recent studies suggest an association between COVID-19 infection during pregnancy and preeclampsia. Nonetheless, these studies are subject to numerous biases. We compared the onset of preeclampsia in a group with symptomatic COVID-19 during pregnancy to that in a group whose non-exposure to the virus was certain, in a center where pregnancy management was identical in both groups.
Study design: This was a single-center study comparing exposed and unexposed patients. The exposed group included pregnant women with symptomatic COVID-19 infection (diagnosed by RT-PCR or CT scan), who gave birth between March and December, 2020. The unexposed group included pregnant women who gave birth between March and December, 2019. Only cases of preeclampsia that occurred after COVID-19 infection were considered. A multivariate analysis was performed to study the existence of an association between COVID-19 and preeclampsia. A sensitivity analysis was performed among nulliparous patients.
Results: The frequency of preeclampsia was 3.2% (3/93) in the exposed group, versus 2.2% (4/186) in the unexposed group (P = 0.58). Among the nulliparous patients, the frequency of preeclampsia was 4.9% (2/41) in the exposed group versus 0.9% (1/106) in the unexposed group (P = 0.13). The association between COVID-19 and preeclampsia was not significant after multivariate analysis (OR 3.12, 95% CI 0.39-24.6).
Conclusion: Symptomatic COVID-19 infection during pregnancy does not appear to increase the risk of preeclampsia strongly, although the size of our sample prevents us from reaching a conclusion about a low or moderate risk. It therefore does not appear necessary to reinforce preeclampsia screening in patients with symptomatic COVID-19 infection during pregnancy.