medRxiv - (-) - [2020-10-14; online 2020-10-14]
To test whether pregnant and non-pregnant women differ in COVID-19 symptom profile and severity. To extend previous investigations on hospitalized pregnant women to those who did not require hospitalization. Observational study prospectively collecting longitudinal (smartphone application interface) and cross-sectional (web-based survey) data. Community-based self-participatory citizen surveillance in the United Kingdom, Sweden and the United States of America. Two female community-based cohorts aged 18-44 years. The discovery cohort was drawn from 1,170,315 UK, Sweden and USA women (79 pregnant tested positive) who self-reported status and symptoms longitudinally via smartphone. The replication cohort included 1,344,966 USA women (134 pregnant tested positive) who provided cross-sectional self-reports. Pregnant and non-pregnant were compared for frequencies of symptoms and events, including SARS-CoV-2 testing and hospitalization rates. Multivariable regression was used to investigate symptoms severity and comorbidity effects. Pregnant and non-pregnant women positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection were not different in syndromic severity. Pregnant were more likely to have received testing than non-pregnant, despite reporting fewer symptoms. Pre-existing lung disease was most closely associated with the syndromic severity in pregnant hospitalized women. Heart and kidney diseases and diabetes increased risk. The most frequent symptoms among all non-hospitalized women were anosmia [63% pregnant, 92% non-pregnant] and headache [72%, 62%]. Cardiopulmonary symptoms, including persistent cough [80%] and chest pain [73%], were more frequent among pregnant women who were hospitalized. Symptom characteristics and severity were comparable among pregnant and non-pregnant women, except for gastrointestinal symptoms. Consistent with observations in non-pregnant populations, lung disease and diabetes were associated with increased risk of more severe SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy.