Medically-attended respiratory illnesses amongst pregnant women in Brisbane, Australia

Precious Rufus Ashiedu, Ross M. Andrews, Stephen B. Lambert, Lisa McHugh, Sallyanne LeGros-Wilson, Judith Zenchyson, Daniel Arnold, Clementine Shevell, Kerry Ann F O'Grady

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    There are limited community-based data on the burden of influenza and influenza-like illnesses during pregnancy to inform disease surveillance and control. We aimed to determine the incidence of medically-attended respiratory illnesses (MARI) in pregnant women and the proportion of women who are tested for respiratory pathogens at these visits. We conducted a nested retrospective cohort study of a non-random sample of women aged 18 years or over who had a live birth in maternity units in Brisbane, Queensland, from March 2012 to October 2014. The primary outcomes were self-reported doctor visits for MARI and laboratory investigations for respiratory pathogens. Descriptive analyses were performed. Among 1,202 participants, 222 (18.5%, 95%CI 16.3%-20.7%) self-reported MARI during their pregnancy. Of those with an MARI, 20.3% (45/222) self-reported a laboratory test was performed. We were able to confirm with health service providers that 46.7% (21/45) of tests were undertaken, responses from providers were not received for the remainder. Whilst one in 5 women in this population reported a MARI in pregnancy, only 3.7% (45/1,202) reported a clinical specimen had been arranged at the consultation and the ability to validate that self-report was problematic. As the focus on maternal immunisation increases, ascertainment of the aetiological agent causing MARI in this population will be required and efficient and reliable methods for obtaining these data at the community level need to be established.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)E319-E322
    Number of pages4
    JournalCommunicable Diseases Intelligence Quarterly Report
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2015


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