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Coronavirus: Risk higher for pregnant BAME women


The high proportion of pregnant women from black and ethnic minority (BAME) groups admitted to hospital with COVID-19 "needs urgent investigation", says a study in the British Medical Journal.

Out of 427 pregnant women studied between March and April, more than half were from these backgrounds - nearly three times the expected number. Most were admitted late in pregnancy and did not become seriously ill. Although babies can be infected, the researchers said this was "uncommon".

When other factors such as obesity and age were taken into account, there was still a much higher proportion from ethnic minority groups than expected, the authors said.

But the explanation for why BAME pregnant women are disproportionately affected by coronavirus is not simple "or easily solved," says Professor Knight, lead author.

"We have to talk to women themselves, as well as health professionals, to give us more of a clue."

Gill Walton from the Royal College of Midwives says, "Even before the pandemic, women from black, Asian or ethnic minority backgrounds were more likely to die in and around their pregnancy,"

She said they were "still at unacceptable risk" and getting help and support to affected communities was crucial. 

Ms Walton added: "The system is failing them and that has got to change quickly, because they matter, their lives matter and they deserve the best and safest care."

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Source: BBC News, 8 June 2020

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