Study Finds Swine Flu More Dangerous for Pregnant Women

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According to a study published in this week’s issue of the British medical journal The Lancet, pregnant women who suffer from a case of the swine flu are at a higher risk for complications — and disease severity — than other people. The regular flu is generally more dangerous for pregnant women anyhow, but, according to the analysis, the H1N1 strain poses an even greater risk. Among the 45 swine flu related deaths reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention between mid-April and mid-June, six, or 13%, were pregnant women. That figure may be on the high side, the authors say, due to the study’s small sample size, but a larger data set of 266 deaths reported to the CDC still showed that 6%, or 15 deaths, were pregnant women. Still, it is important to note that while pregnant women are more likely to suffer from severe symptoms or complications, there is no reason to believe that they’re more likely than people living in the same area to contract swine flu in the first place. —By Tiffany Sharples