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    Research Letter
    July 10, 2020

    Change in the Incidence of Stillbirth and Preterm Delivery During the COVID-19 Pandemic

    Author Affiliations
    • 1Fetal Medicine Unit, St George’s University of London, London, United Kingdom
    • 2School of Life Course Sciences, King’s College London, London, United Kingdom
    • 3Department of Women’s Health, North Bristol NHS Trust, Westbury on Trym, United Kingdom
    • 4Department of Women’s Health, University College London Hospitals, London, United Kingdom
    JAMA. Published online July 10, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.12746

    High rates of preterm birth and cesarean delivery have been reported in women with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection.1 However, studies have inadequate power to assess uncommon outcomes like stillbirth (fetal death ≥24 weeks’ gestation). The UK Obstetric Surveillance System reported 3 stillbirths among 247 completed pregnancies in women with confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vs the national rate (12.1 per 1000 births vs 4-5 per 1000 births).2 We assessed the change in stillbirth and preterm delivery rates during the pandemic.

    We compared pregnancy outcomes at St George’s University Hospital, London in 2 epochs: from October 1, 2019, to January 31, 2020 (preceding the first reported UK cases of COVID-19), and from February 1, 2020, to June 14, 2020. Outcomes included stillbirth, preterm birth, cesarean delivery, and neonatal unit admission. We investigated all stillbirths and repeated the analysis after excluding late terminations for fetal abnormalities, as the definition of stillbirth in the UK includes late termination at 24 weeks’ gestation or beyond.

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