OBJECTIVES - A population-based assessment of maternal and perinatal morbidity related to respiratory illness during influenza season among pregnant women has not been published. The objectives of this investigation were to describe and quantify the impact of respiratory hospitalization during pregnancy on serious maternal and perinatal morbidity.
STUDY DESIGN - A matched cohort study using an administrative database of pregnant women enrolled in the Tennessee Medicaid population to determine pregnancy outcomes associated with respiratory hospitalizations during influenza season. Pregnant women aged 15 to 44 years with a respiratory hospitalization during influenza seasons 1985-1993 were matched by gestational age and presence of comorbidity with pregnant control subjects without a respiratory hospitalization.
RESULTS - During the eight influenza seasons studied, 293 women with singleton pregnancies had respiratory disease hospitalizations (5.1:1000). Women with asthma had high rates of such hospitalization (59.7:1000). Compared with matched controls, women with respiratory hospitalizations had similar modes of delivery, delivery length of stay, and episodes of preterm labor. The prevalence of prematurity and low birth weight among infants born to such women was likewise similar between the two groups.
CONCLUSION - In this population of pregnant women, those with asthma accounted for half of all respiratory-related hospitalizations during influenza seasons, with 6% of pregnant women with asthma requiring respiratory hospitalization during influenza season, (odds ratio 10.63, 95% CI, 8.18-13.83, compared with women without a medical comorbidity). We detected no significant increase in adverse perinatal outcomes associated with respiratory hospitalizations during influenza season.