Getting COVID-19 while pregnant could cause brain development delays in boys, study finds

Hand holding positive COVID test.
(Image credit: Photographer, Basak Gurbuz Derman/Getty Images)

Boys' brain development in the womb may be delayed if the mother contracts COVID-19 while pregnant, a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Network Open finds. The research showed that boys born to people who had COVID-19 during pregnancy were twice as likely to be diagnosed with a developmental disorder in their first 18 months of life, NPR reports. Baby girls did not show the same results.

"Male fetuses are known to be more vulnerable to maternal infectious exposures during pregnancy," according to the study's lead author Andrea Edlow. However, there is only a slight increase in risk, and "most children of moms who have COVID during pregnancy won't have neurodevelopmental consequences even if there is some increase in risk," explains study co-author Roy Perlis.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.

SUBSCRIBE & SAVE
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/flexiimages/jacafc5zvs1692883516.jpg

Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us