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1.
Eur J Pediatr ; 181(3): 1175-1184, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1516855

ABSTRACT

Using provisional or opportunistic data, three nationwide studies (The Netherlands, the USA and Denmark) have identified a reduction in preterm or extremely preterm births during periods of COVID-19 restrictions. However, none of the studies accounted for perinatal deaths. To determine whether the reduction in extremely preterm births, observed in Denmark during the COVID-19 lockdown, could be the result of an increase in perinatal deaths and to assess the impact of extended COVID-19 restrictions, we performed a nationwide Danish register-based prevalence proportion study. We examined all singleton pregnancies delivered in Denmark during the COVID-19 strict lockdown calendar periods (March 12-April 14, 2015-2020, N = 31,164 births) and the extended calendar periods of COVID-19 restrictions (February 27-September 30, 2015-2020, N = 214,862 births). The extremely preterm birth rate was reduced (OR 0.27, 95% CI 0.07 to 0.86) during the strict lockdown period in 2020, while perinatal mortality was not significantly different. During the extended period of restrictions in 2020, the extremely preterm birth rate was marginally reduced, and a significant reduction in the stillbirth rate (OR 0.69, 0.50 to 0.95) was observed. No changes in early neonatal mortality rates were found.Conclusion: Stillbirth and extremely preterm birth rates were reduced in Denmark during the period of COVID-19 restrictions and lockdown, respectively, suggesting that aspects of these containment and control measures confer an element of protection. The present observational study does not allow for causal inference; however, the results support the design of studies to ascertain whether behavioural or social changes for pregnant women may improve pregnancy outcomes. What is Known: • The aetiologies of preterm birth and stillbirth are multifaceted and linked to a wide range of socio-demographic, medical, obstetric, foetal, psychosocial and environmental factors. • The COVID-19 lockdown saw a reduction in extremely preterm births in Denmark and other high-income countries. An urgent question is whether this reduction can be explained by increased perinatal mortality. What is New: • The reduction in extremely preterm births during the Danish COVID-19 lockdown was not a consequence of increased perinatal mortality, which remained unchanged during this period. • The stillbirth rate was reduced throughout the extended period of COVID-19 restrictions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Perinatal Death , Premature Birth , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control , Denmark/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Infant Mortality , Infant, Newborn , Pregnancy , Premature Birth/epidemiology , Premature Birth/etiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Stillbirth/epidemiology
2.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(9): e2962-e2969, 2021 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1501026

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Although the vast majority of individuals succumbing to infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are elderly, infection fatality rate (IFR) estimates for the age group ≥70 years are still scarce. To this end, we assessed SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence among retired blood donors and combined it with national coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) survey data to provide reliable population-based IFR estimates for this age group. METHODS: We identified 60 926 retired blood donors aged ≥70 years in the rosters of 3 regionwide Danish blood banks and invited them to fill in a questionnaire on COVID-19-related symptoms and behaviors. Among 24 861 (40.8%) responders, we invited a random sample of 3200 individuals for blood testing. Overall, 1201 (37.5%) individuals were tested for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies (Wantai) and compared with 1110 active blood donors aged 17-69 years. Seroprevalence 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were adjusted for assay sensitivity and specificity. RESULTS: Among retired (aged ≥70 years) and active (aged 17-69 years) blood donors, adjusted seroprevalences were 1.4% (95% CI, .3-2.5%) and 2.5% (95% CI, 1.3-3.8%), respectively. Using available population data on COVID-19-related fatalities, IFRs for patients aged ≥70 years and for 17-69 years were estimated at 5.4% (95% CI, 2.7-6.4%) and .083% (95% CI, .054-.18%), respectively. Only 52.4% of SARS-CoV-2-seropositive retired blood donors reported having been sick since the start of the pandemic. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 IFR in the age group >69 years is estimated to be 65 times the IFR for people aged 18-69 years.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Aged , Antibodies, Viral , Blood Donors , Cross-Sectional Studies , Denmark , Humans , Seroepidemiologic Studies
3.
Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed ; 106(1): 93-95, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1060604

ABSTRACT

To explore the impact of COVID-19 lockdown on premature birth rates in Denmark, a nationwide register-based prevalence proportion study was conducted on all 31 180 live singleton infants born in Denmark between 12 March and 14 April during 2015-2020.The distribution of gestational ages (GAs) was significantly different (p=0.004) during the lockdown period compared with the previous 5 years and was driven by a significantly lower rate of extremely premature children during the lockdown compared with the corresponding mean rate for the same dates in the previous years (OR 0.09, 95% CI 0.01 to 0.40, p<0.001). No significant difference between the lockdown and previous years was found for other GA categories.The reasons for this decrease are unclear. However, the lockdown has provided a unique opportunity to examine possible factors related to prematurity. Identification of possible causal mechanisms might stimulate changes in clinical practice.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Premature Birth/epidemiology , Social Isolation , Denmark/epidemiology , Humans , Infant, Extremely Premature , Infant, Newborn , Prevalence , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(9): e2962-e2969, 2021 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-889496

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Although the vast majority of individuals succumbing to infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are elderly, infection fatality rate (IFR) estimates for the age group ≥70 years are still scarce. To this end, we assessed SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence among retired blood donors and combined it with national coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) survey data to provide reliable population-based IFR estimates for this age group. METHODS: We identified 60 926 retired blood donors aged ≥70 years in the rosters of 3 regionwide Danish blood banks and invited them to fill in a questionnaire on COVID-19-related symptoms and behaviors. Among 24 861 (40.8%) responders, we invited a random sample of 3200 individuals for blood testing. Overall, 1201 (37.5%) individuals were tested for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies (Wantai) and compared with 1110 active blood donors aged 17-69 years. Seroprevalence 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were adjusted for assay sensitivity and specificity. RESULTS: Among retired (aged ≥70 years) and active (aged 17-69 years) blood donors, adjusted seroprevalences were 1.4% (95% CI, .3-2.5%) and 2.5% (95% CI, 1.3-3.8%), respectively. Using available population data on COVID-19-related fatalities, IFRs for patients aged ≥70 years and for 17-69 years were estimated at 5.4% (95% CI, 2.7-6.4%) and .083% (95% CI, .054-.18%), respectively. Only 52.4% of SARS-CoV-2-seropositive retired blood donors reported having been sick since the start of the pandemic. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 IFR in the age group >69 years is estimated to be 65 times the IFR for people aged 18-69 years.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Aged , Antibodies, Viral , Blood Donors , Cross-Sectional Studies , Denmark , Humans , Seroepidemiologic Studies
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