Hepatitis E (HE) during pregnancy can be fatal; there are no prospective risk estimates for HE and its complications during pregnancy. We followed 2,404 pregnant women for HE and pregnancy outcomes from 1996 to 1998. Subjects from Nepal were enrolled at an antenatal clinic with pregnancy of # 24 weeks. Most women (65.1%) were anti-HE virus negative. There were 16 cases of HE (6.7 per 1,000); three mothers died (18.8%) having had intrauterine fetal death (IUFD). Thirteen mothers survived: five preterm and seven full-term deliveries, one IUFD. HE among seronegative women was the sole cause of maternal death and increased the risk of IUFD (relative risk [RR]: 10.6; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 4.29–26.3) and preterm delivery (RR: 17.1, 95% CI 7.56–38.5). HE vaccination of females in at-risk regions before or as they attain reproductive age would reduce their risk for preterm delivery, IUFD, and maternal death.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases