Ontario’s Strict Lockdown Measures Associated With Fewer Premature Premature Births: Study – fr

Ontario’s Strict Lockdown Measures Associated With Fewer Premature Premature Births: Study – fr

TORONTO – Ontario’s strict lockdown measures during the first six months of the COVID-19 pandemic are associated with fewer preterm births before 32 weeks gestation than in previous years, according to a new study.

The results, published Wednesday in the JAMA Network Open journal, suggest that public health restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus may have reduced the risk of very early childbirth compared to the previous five years.

For the study, researchers from Unity Health Toronto, a health network including Providence Healthcare, St. Joseph’s Health Center and St. Michael’s Hospital, compared data provided by ICES on the 67,747 births that occurred in hospitals across the ‘Ontario between March 15, 2020 and September 30, 2020 to births during the same period in the past five years.

Although the team was unable to study births outside the hospital, these represent only less than 3% of all births in the province. They also said they were unable to assess other possible risk factors for premature birth, such as smoking.

Additionally, they did not assess the risk of premature birth in people who contracted COVID-19 during pregnancy, as there were only a small number, according to the study.

Based on the data, the researchers found that there was no overall reduction in preterm births before 37 weeks of pregnancy, but a slight decrease in very early deliveries before 32 weeks. They concluded that early containment measures in Ontario may have been associated with a reduced risk of very early preterm birth.

“Premature birth is one of the leading causes of poor childhood and long-term outcomes,” said Dr. Andrea Simpson, obstetrician-gynecologist at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, in a statement.

“If the lockdown measures reduce the risk of preterm birth, it may lead to new areas of research to understand how we can further improve pregnancy and perinatal outcomes.”

The results are in line with similar studies in Denmark and Ireland, where comparable strict lockdown measures were in place, the study noted. In contrast, researchers said there was no difference in preterm births in a population-based study in Sweden, where there were no strict lockdown measures at the start of the pandemic.

The study also compared the number of stillbirths in Ontario in the first six months of the pandemic to those in the same period in the previous five years, but they found there was no difference in the overall risk.

The researchers said the risk of other perinatal outcomes, such as low birth weight, admission to the neonatal intensive care unit, and early or late neonatal death, during those first six months of lock, also did not increase. The researchers called this “reassuring” because it suggests that pregnant women continue to access the care they need despite the restrictions.

“Obstetric care has changed rapidly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the introduction of virtual care. We are looking at other changes in obstetric care during the pandemic and the effect on patient outcomes, ”said Simpson.

“This research is important during subsequent waves of the pandemic and after to determine whether these changes in care have resulted in different patient outcomes.”


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