Cohort profile: The Covid-19 in pregnancy in Scotland (COPS) dynamic cohort of pregnant women to assess effects of viral and vaccine exposures on pregnancy

Sarah J E Stock, Jade Carruthers, Cheryl Denny, Jack Donaghy, Anna Goulding, Lisa E M Hopcroft, Leanne Hopkins, Rachel Mulholland, Utkarsh Agrawal, Bonnie Auyeung, Srinivasa Vittal Katikireddi, Colin McCowan, Josie Murray, Chris Robertson, Aziz Sheikh, Ting Shi, Colin R Simpson, Rachael Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Key features:
• COVID-19 in Pregnancy in Scotland (COPS) is a new national prospective dynamic cohort utilising Scotland’s maternity and health care data. It is unique in that it is a national surveillance platform using routinely available population data to capture near-complete pregnancies in Scotland, covering the whole pregnancy from conception to the end of the puerperium for women (41 days postpartum) and the end of the neonatal period (27 days postnatal) for babies.
• COPS was created to describe the epidemiology of COVID-19 in pregnancy, the effect of SARS-CoV-2 infection on pregnancy outcomes and investigate the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines among pregnant women. COPS includes all women in Scotland who were pregnant on 1st March 2020 or have subsequently become pregnant and thus could be potentially exposed to SARS-2-CoV or COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy. The dynamic cohort is updated with new pregnancies and pregnancy outcomes monthly.
• The cohort is generated by linking primary care records to maternity records, national birth and mortality records, other secondary health care data, together with laboratory results and vaccination information. Combining these data sources allows comprehensive capture of the outcomes of all births and all pregnancy losses in women who attended healthcare services (except very early miscarriages where medical or midwifery advice was not sought). Thus, COPS provides a robust platform for the study of viral effects and pharmacoepidemiologic research.
• As of 16th September, 2021, the dynamic cohort included 123,004 women with 134,070 completed or ongoing pregnancies.
• Pre-pandemic outcome rates for analyses can be calculated from an approved retrospective extension of the cohort to 1st January 2015.
• Data are hosted in the Public Health Scotland’s (PHS) trusted research environment (TRE). Code and meta-data are available through our study website (1). To access the data, the applicants must submit an enquiry to
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e245-e255
JournalInternational Journal of Epidemiology
Issue number5
Early online date3 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • COVID-19/prevention & control
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/epidemiology
  • Pregnant Women
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Vaccination
  • Vaccines


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