NIH to study long-term effects of COVID-19 in pregnancy

Nov. 3, 2021

The National Institutes of Health will support a four-year follow-up study on the potential long-term effects of COVID-19 on women infected with SARS-CoV-2 during pregnancy. The study will also follow their offspring for any potential long-term effects.

The effort is part of NIH’s Researching COVID to Enhance Recovery (RECOVER) Initiative which aims to understand why some individuals who have had COVID-19 don’t fully recover or develop symptoms after recovery, according to an NIH press release.. Known as post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC), or more commonly as Long COVID, these conditions affect all ages. Long-term effects include fatigue, shortness of breath, difficulty concentrating, sleep disorders, fevers, anxiety and depression.

The current study will enroll some participants from an earlier study by the Maternal-Fetal Medicine Units (MFMU) Network, a 36-site research collaboration supported by NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). Participants will be recruited from roughly 4,100 patients with asymptomatic and symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy who gave birth at MFMU Network hospitals. The research teams will assess patient symptoms periodically during the four-year period and evaluate their offspring for neurologic symptoms and cardiovascular conditions.

About the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD): NICHD leads research and training to understand human development, improve reproductive health, enhance the lives of children and adolescents, and optimize abilities for all.

NIH press release

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