Pregnancy as a risk factor for severe outcomes from influenza virus infection: A systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies

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Abstract

Background Pregnancy is considered to be an important risk factor for severe complications following influenza virus infection. As a consequence, WHO recommendations prioritize pregnant women over other risk groups for influenza vaccination. However, the risk associated with pregnancy has not been systematically quantified. Purpose Systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies that reported on pregnancy as a risk factor for severe outcomes from influenza virus infection. Data source MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, and CENTRAL up to April 2014. Data selection Studies reporting on outcomes in pregnant women with influenza in comparison to non-pregnant patients with influenza. Outcomes included community-acquired pneumonia, hospitalization, admission to intensive care units (ICU), ventilatory support, and death. Data extraction Two reviewers conducted independent screening and data extraction. A random effects model was used to obtain risk estimates. Ecological studies were summarized descriptively. Data synthesis A total of 142 non-ecological and 10 ecological studies were included. The majority of studies (n = 136, 95.8%) were conducted during the 2009 influenza A (pH1N1) pandemic. There was a higher risk for hospitalization in pregnant versus non-pregnant patients infected with influenza (odds ratio [OR] 2.44, 95% CI 1.22–4.87), but no significant difference in mortality (OR 1.04, 95% CI 0.81–1.33) or other outcomes. Ecologic studies confirmed the association between hospitalization risk and pregnancy and 4 of 7 studies reported higher mortality rates in pregnant women. Limitations No studies were identified in which follow-up began prior to contact with the healthcare system and lack of adjustment for confounding factors. Conclusions We found that influenza during pregnancy resulted in a higher risk of hospital admission than influenza infection in non-pregnant individuals, but that the risk of mortality following influenza was similar in both pregnant and non-pregnant individuals.

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Mertz, D., Geraci, J., Winkup, J., Gessner, B. D., Ortiz, J. R., & Loeb, M. (2017, January 23). Pregnancy as a risk factor for severe outcomes from influenza virus infection: A systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. Vaccine. Elsevier Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2016.12.012

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