A study has found that being infected with the coronavirus during pregnancy increases the risk of neurodevelopment, such as autism spectrum disorder, in a child that is born.
These effects were especially concentrated in male children, and experts say long follow-up measures are needed for pregnant women and children infected with the corona.
On the 26th local time, the open JAMA Network published the results of a large-scale study on the effect of corona infection during pregnancy on a child (10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2023.4415).
As the corona pandemic goes over to endemic, the research in the medical system also shifts weight due to long covid and its after effects.
In particular, the medical community is constantly paying attention to how it affects the child if the mother is infected with corona.
In some studies, it has been reported that being infected with corona during pregnancy can cause disability in the child’s neurodevelopmental development, but this is because opinions are mixed as opposite studies also come out.
It is because of this background that a research team led by Professor Andrea G. Edlow from Harvard Medical School began a follow-up study on this.
In fact, its purpose is to check whether a corona infection during pregnancy directly affects the child.
Accordingly, the research team followed and observed the effect of corona infection on the child for 18,355 mothers who gave birth during the corona pandemic.
As a result, 3% of babies of mothers who contracted COVID-19 during pregnancy were diagnosed with neurodevelopment within 12 months of age. The child of a mother who did not get corona is a significant percentage compared to staying at 1.8%.
Even if all other factors such as race, age of the mother, and premature birth were excluded, corona infection had a major impact on the child.
In particular, these results showed significant differences according to the gender of the child. Boys are more strongly affected than girls.
In fact, if the child born after being infected with corona during pregnancy was male, the risk of being diagnosed with a neurodevelopmental disorder was 1.94 times, almost doubled.
However, if the child born after being infected with COVID-19 is a girl, the risk is slightly lower. Conversely, a 10% lower risk of neurodevelopmental disorders compared to the mean (OR=0.89).
However, even in boys, if these signs did not appear by 18 months, the risk of being diagnosed with a neurodevelopmental disorder was reduced 1.42 times.
Professor Andrea explained, “This is a result that clearly supports previous studies that corona infection during pregnancy can affect neurodevelopment, such as autism spectrum disorder.”
“Because of these risks, mothers and children infected with COVID-19 need longer follow-up and observation,” he said.