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SCOPE – Scandinavian studies of Covid-19 in pregnancy - project description
Project background and aim:
Scope is a Nordic collaborative project that will study important aspects of how the covid-19 pandemic has affected pregnancies. The project is funded by Nordforsk.
The SCOPE project will provide new and essential information on COVID-19-related risks to pregnant women and their newborns.
The project’s main objective is to fill three crucial knowledge gaps:
- Are pregnant women more likely to contract COVID-19, and at a higher risk of severe disease, complications and hospitalizations than non-pregnant women of reproductive age? If so, which underlying characteristics, e.g. housing and working conditions, affect the risk of severe COVID-19 in pregnant women?
- Does COVID-19 in pregnancy increase the risk of pregnancy complications, including fetal loss?
- Does maternal COVID-19 during pregnancy adversely affect the health of the child?
To address these questions, the project group will use unique register data on health and social factors on all women in the reproductive age, together with clinical data on the COVID-19 infections. Combining results from the three Scandinavian countries will strengthen the ability to study severe COVID-19 illness, susceptible subgroups and non-frequent outcomes. The Scandinavian countries have had different course of the pandemic, and this enables us to compare results from different contexts with similar data resources.
The project team and expertise:
The project is coordinated by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health with Siri Eldevik Håberg as Project leader. The principal investigator in Sweden is Olof Stephansson from Karolinska Institutet and in Denmark it is Anne-Marie Nybo Andersen from Copenhagen University. Together, they make up a multidisciplinary Scandinavian team with combined expertise in perinatal epidemiology, social epidemiology, surveillance and obstetrics. The team has extensive experience with using national registries to study pregnancy outcomes after infections and pandemics. The availability of registry data is a clear Nordic advantage, as very few nations outside of Scandinavia can match the amount and richness of the research resources and robust population-based data available there. The information on Covid-19 related risks to pregnant women and their offspring generated in this Nordic context will therefore also be of great international importance.
Expected results and impact:
The goal of the SCOPE project is prevention of adverse outcomes in women who become pregnant as the COVID-19 pandemic progresses. If we find that COVID-19 poses a risk to pregnant women, this will help guide policies of isolation and public health management. If we find that changes in health care during the pandemic has impact on pregnancy health and pregnancy outcomes, clinical care for pregnant women can be improved during the COVID-19 pandemic and in other future crisis. There is an urgent need to understand if pregnant women constitute a vulnerable group and whether guidelines are warranted. If COVID-19 poses rare or small elevations of risks in pregnant women, communication of absolute risks and negative findings will help minimise unnecessary anxiety. Current policies vary across countries due to lack of data. We will provide information to inform recommendations and ensure that the global community is better prepared to protect pregnant women in the case of future waves of COVID-19.
See the full project description at Cristin for more information about results, researchers, contact information etc.
Maria Christine Magnus, Norwegian Institute of Public Health
Anne-Marie Nybo Andersen, University of Copenhagen
Olof Stephansson, Karolinska Institutet