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Pregnant women more likely to be hospitalized due to H1N1

Category: Infectious Diseases

Expectant women who test positive for swine flu are much more likely to be hospitalized and are at a significantly increased risk of death compared to non-pregnant women of child-bearing age who are infected with H1N1, new research has found.

In the study, a team of investigators from Australia and New Zealand monitored 209 women between the ages of 15 and 44 who were admitted to the intensive care unit with a confirmed case of swine flu.

The researchers found that pregnant women were 13 times more likely to be to be admitted to an ICU than their non-pregnant counterparts. Moreover, a total of 11 percent of expectant mothers and 12 percent of babies died after being hospitalized.

"Although a mortality of 11 percent seems low when compared to usual outcomes of respiratory failure in intensive care … a maternal morality of 11 percent is high when compared with any other obstetric condition," said the study's lead author Ian Seppelt.

Research associate Claire McLintock, from Auckland Hospital in New Zealand, added that the sudden increase in the death rate of pregnant women in 2009 may be directly linked to the swine flu pandemic, according to The New Zealand Herald.
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