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The novel coronavirus can severely affect pregnant women who are overweight or obese before becoming pregnant, new research suggests.

Published today by the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the findings show that women who contract the virus may have a higher incidence of preterm birth.

“One of the most important study findings is that in nearly all cases of severe COVID-19 disease, women were either overweight or obese prior to pregnancy and had other conditions like asthma and high blood pressure,” said senior author Dr. Kristina Adams Waldorf. "The combination of pregnancy, obesity, asthma and a COVID-19 pneumonia can synergistically increase the burden on her lungs.” 

Read the entire story at UW Medicine Newsroom. Kristina Adams Waldorf is an Adjunct Professor of Global Health. Erica Lokken, a Global WACh Postdoctoral Fellow, is also quoted.