In this blog I would like to address several medical research papers that are cited again and again and supposedly come to the conclusion that Covid disease in pregnancy is more severe and therefore the Covid vaccination is recommended.
In the journal „Frauenarzt“ of April this year, the colleague Dudenhausen quotes this paper from Singapore in the sense that there are more complications, premature births and maternal deaths with covid diseases during pregnancy. Here the original with the relevant text passage and the citation reference marked in yellow:
When I read this, I obtained the original study published in the June 2020 in American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology (AJOG) by Dashraat et al of Singapore:
Here you can find the original:
Since the study had already been submitted on 02-25-2020 and the covid illnesses worldwide only really started at that time, the question arises where the 55 pregnant women listed there came from. The fine print states that these were compiled from ten different Chinese studies and compared to SARS and MERS illnesses in 2002 and 2013. The severity of the illnesses were not clearified from the paper and they were not compared to a control group of, for example, all patients admitted with respiratory illnesses.
The study does not proof – as colleague Dudenhausen claims above – that there are „more frequent complications in pregnancy“. In the paper 55 pregnant women with positive PCR test and symptoms are compared with pregnant women who were ill with MERS or SARS.
No pregnant women with covid disease died, only one patient required ventilation, two suffered miscarriage, and five fetuses had growth retardation. Compared with MERS and SARS, the numbers for Covid were much lower. Only in preterm birth Covid pregnant women were significantly higher represented (43% compared with 27% and 25%).
So only preterm birth was increased and not the other risks as Dudenhausen claims. The study does not quote in which week the pregnant women were delivered, whether they had pre-existing conditions, were overweight, etc. And, as always, the control group is missing.
In the monthly magazine „Frauenarzt“, which almost every gynecologist in Germany receives, there is the following generalising headline in the short news in a recent issue: „SARS-CoV-2 increases pregnancy and birth complications„. The text, written by an unnamedauthor, describes as a brief summary the study by Gurol-Urganci et al. of London.
The title reads: „Maternal and perinatal outcomes of pregnant women with SARS-CoV-2 infection at the time of birth in England: national cohort study“.
Here you can read the English original:
The study included women who were pregnant with one child and had been hospitalized around the time of birth („birth episode“) between May 29, 2020 and January 31, 2021. Two groups were distinguished: the group with a positive PCR test for Covid and the second negative control group.
Study outcomes were:
– Fetal death
– Preterm birth (before 37 weeks of pregnancy)
– small for gestational age
– (Pre-) Eclampsia
– Induction of labour
– Birth mode
– Sspecialist neonatal care
– Maternal and neonatal length of stay (> 3 days)
– Neonatal readmission within 28 daysmaternal readmission within 42 days
In addition, the following criteria were recorded:
– pre-existing diabetes
– pre-existing hypertension
– socioeconomic deprivation (measured with the „Index of Multiple Deprivation“)
Actually, I could already stop going into more detail about this study after this listing. Why? Because only the positive PCR test was used as a criterion for an infection. A positive PCR test is only a laboratory result (which of course can also be false positive). It does not tell whether the person in question has symptoms, how severe they are, etc. Thus, two groups are compared here that differ only by a positive test result and not by a clinically manifested disease!
A positive PCR test is counted as a „case“ but says nothing about a disease and its severity! In other words:
„Tested positive with PCR methodology does not necessarily mean infected, not necessarily infectious and certainly not diseased“ (microbiologist Andreas Bermpohl in the newspaper, Gütersloh 26/27 September 2020).
In order to be able to classify this somewhat better the following remarks:
Only 2% of people with a positive PCR test require inpatient treatment!
To proof thie statement, an official statistic of the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) from the USA, which differentiates the sum of patients (per hundred thousand) with positive PCR test, who were admitted to hospitals as inpatients from 01.03. – 26.09.2020, according to age groups. The top gray bar summarizes all age groups. The 178.2 listed there, extrapolated to 100,000, result in a percentage of less than 2%.
In other words, if the PCR test is positive, less than two percent of those affected are admitted to hospital. This is to illustrate that a positive PCR test at hospital admission for birth means nothing at all.
Nevertheless, back to the study. This already disproves the title of the study as incorrect, since it does not involve infected persons, but only those who tested positive.
A total of 342,080 women were enrolled in the study, of whom 3,527 had a positive PCR test. The pregnant women who tested positive were younger, of nonwhite ethnicity, first-time mothers, or lived in disadvantaged areas or had pre-existing conditions.
According to the study results, this group of patients suffered significantly more stillbirths and preterm deliveries, had more cases of (pre-) eclampsia, more emergency cesarean sections had to be performed, and had longer postpartum hospital stays.
In only half a sentence do Gurol-Urganci et al. indicate that they did not have information on the severity of Covid-19 disease or possess other important information, such as body mass index (body weight divided by height). Here is the paragraph from page 522.e7 right center column:
One should not speak of disease in this context, but only of a positive test result. And this does not mean that the pregnant woman has symptoms. And it certainly does not mean that a positive test result has any negative effect on the pregnancy, the birth and the health for mother and child.
In addition, no information is available on other risks for stillbirths, premature births, and birth complication; or for possible drug use, insufficient function of the placenta, premature solution of the placenta, umbilical cord not or prolapse, anemia, maternal infections, malformations, fetal cardiac arrhythmias, etc.
I would additionally be interested in the vitamin D status in the blood, but this is hatdly ever investigated. A study with almost 200,000 participants shows that the lower the vitamin D level, the higher the rate of positive PCR test of SARS-CoV-2 is:
Here is a picture of it:
And since vitamin D deficiency is also an increased risk factor for preterm birth (Qin et al.: https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/8/5/301), other causes for a positive PCR test may be suspected.
In summary, I suspect that the positive test results were more likely to filter out pregnant women from lower income groups. To me, there is definitely a lack of evidence of increased risk of covid disease for pregnancy and childbirth. A positive test does not mean disease. In my medical opinion, I consider this study not only inconclusive, but even (intentionally) misleading.
This is clear from the authors‘ conclusion, which recommends that pregnant women should be vaccinated as a priority. Here in the original on page 522e8 left:
If it really turns out in the future that the gene-based vaccines pose a danger to mother and child – as I am still afraid of – then the authors Gurol-Urganci et al. would have contributed to much suffering.
I am happy to engage in professional discussions and also revise my expressed assessments, if I should be wrong.