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An Pediatr (Barc). 2009 Oct;71(4):299-309. doi: 10.1016/j.anpedi.2009.06.019. Epub 2009 Aug 6.

[Growth of uninfected infants exposed to antiretrovirals born to HIV-infected woman].

[Article in Spanish]

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Hospital Universitario de Getafe, Madrid, España.



Recent reports show that Antiretroviral Treatment (ART) during pregnancy does not affect somatic growth of children born to HIV-infected mothers, are reassuring. The aim of this study is to perform an anthropometric analysis of the uninfected children followed in the Spanish FIPSE cohort during their first 18 months of life, and to describe the possible risk factors during pregnancy that may influence low birth weight.


The FIPSE cohort includes 8 public hospitals in Madrid, and prospectively follows children born to HIV-infected women at these hospitals. We collected data on 601 uninfected children, following standardised protocols, during their first 2 years of life. A P value<0.05 was considered statistically significant. Data from the Pablo Orbegozo Foundation were used to compare the means of our population with the standard weight, longitude an occipitofrontal circumference (OFC) of the Spanish population during the first 18 months of life.


The mean weight was 2766g (+/-590), and 2967g (+/-427) when premature neonates were excluded. The proportion of Intrauterine Growth Restriction among non- premature neonates was 19.8% (95% CI: 16.3-23.8). Children born to mothers that used illicit drugs weighed less: 2752g (+/-325) vs. 3002g (+/ 435), P<0.001, as did children born to mothers who smoked during pregnancy: 2842g (+/-363) vs. 3018g (+/-444), P>0.001. Maternal anaemia did not influence the low birth weight of the children when premature neonates were excluded. We found no statistically significant differences depending on the ART received during pregnancy. Children born to mothers who had CD4 > 500 cell /mm were heavier (2834g +/-503) than those whose mothers had CD4 of less than 200 cell/mm (2565g +/-702), P=0.008. These differences disappeared when premature neonates were excluded. Children born to mothers with undetectable viral load were heavier (2866g +/-532 vs. 2704g +/-588, P=0.005), but these differences also disappeared when the prematures were excluded from the analysis. Mean weight, length, and OFC of our population at birth (excluding premature neonates) were lower than the Spanish standards. (z for weight=-0.83; z for length =-1.02; z for OFC=-1.00), but these differences are not statistically significant and disappear at 18 months of age (z for weight=-0.08; z for height=-0.32; z for OFC=-0.31). The type of ART did not have any significant influence.


There is a very significant difference between the weight of the children born to mothers addicted to illicit drugs and the rest of the children. Similarly, the weight of the children born to smoking mothers is significantly lower. There was no association between maternal anaemia and the type of ART. The children of our population have lower weights, length and OFC at birth, but this may due to the high number of scheduled caesarean births, practised at 38 weeks of pregnancy (54.5%). Our children catch-up with anthropometric measurements during the first and second year of life, and these are similar to Spanish standards at 18 months old.

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