Effect of Maternal HIV Infection on Treatment with HAART on Neonatal Birth Weight and Other Anthropometry: A Cohort Study of HIV Sero-Positive Women in Enugu, South-East Nigeria
Emeka Ifeanyi Iloghalu,
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Ituku/Ozalla Campus, Enugu, Nigeria.
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Introduction: Low Birth Weight (LBW) is associated with poor health conditions during neonatal period, infancy and in adult life. It is possible that some form of fetal growth restriction occurs in babies of HIV sero-positive women.
Aim: To determine the effect of maternal HIV infection on neonatal birth weight and other neonatal anthropometric indices.
Materials and Methods: The study was prospective cohort in design. Neonatal birth weight, head circumference, and crown-heel length of babies of 87 consecutive consenting HAART experienced HIV sero-positive pregnant women on HAART (study group) were compared with those of 92 matched HIV sero-negative women (control group). Data analyses were both descriptive and inferential at 95% confidence level.
Results: The incidence of low birth weight was 25.3% (22/87) among the HIV sero-positive group and 14.1% (13/92) among the control group (p=0.060, R.R=1.8, 95% CI: 0.96-3.33). The mean neonatal head circumference in the study and control groups were 33.7±2.93 cm and 34.5±2.31 cm respectively, p=0.036 while the mean crown-heel length was 47.9±4.59 cm versus 48.7±4.02 cm, p=0.217.
Conclusion: Maternal HIV treatment with Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) was not associated with high incidence LBW in Enugu, Nigeria. However, the head circumference was reduced. Careful measurement of the head circumferences of neonates of HIV sero-positive mothers, during routine new-born examination, is encouraged, so that any disproportionate growth would receive further appropriate assessment.