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HIV Linked With Increased Risk of Premature Delivery

Last Updated: September 17, 2009.

HIV-positive women receiving antiretroviral treatment are at higher risk of giving birth prematurely and delivering a low-birth-weight infant, according to a study in the September issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

THURSDAY, Sept. 17 (HealthDay News) -- HIV-positive women receiving antiretroviral treatment are at higher risk of giving birth prematurely and delivering a low-birth-weight infant, according to a study in the September issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Sina Haeri, M.D., from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, and colleagues retrospectively compared adverse pregnancy outcomes in 151 HIV-positive women who were receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy (concomitant use of at least three antiretroviral drugs) and 302 HIV-negative women.

The researchers found that HIV-positive women were more likely to smoke (odds ratio, 4.62), abuse drugs (odds ratio, 5.48), and have a spontaneous preterm birth at less than 37 weeks' gestation (odds ratio, 2.27 after adjusting for tobacco and cocaine use). HIV-positive women were also more likely to deliver a small-for-gestational-age infant (less than 10th percentile odds ratio, 1.8 after adjusting for tobacco and cocaine use).

"HIV-positive women are at increased risk for preterm birth and lower-birth-weight infants; therefore, antenatal surveillance should include fetal growth assessment," Haeri and colleagues conclude. "Highly active antiretroviral therapy use does not increase maternal complications."

The study was also presented in January at the 29th Annual Meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine in San Diego.

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