Few studies have established the role of maternal HIV infection on neonatal disease and death. In order to determine whether neonatal morbidity and mortality were associated to maternal HIV infection, a case-control study was conducted in the neonatal unit of the University Teaching Hospital of Yaoundé from July 2006 to December 2007.
Babies born from HIV positive mothers were recruited as cases. For each case, two babies born from HIV negative mothers were selected as controls. Informed verbal consent was obtained from the mother before inclusion of the newborn in the study. Information on demographics, history of pregnancy, diseases and outcome of the newborns were extracted from patients’ files. The distribution of these parameters between cases and control was analyzed using chi-square. Association of demographics, clinical and paraclinical parameters with mortality was explored using univariate analysis and logistic regression. Data were analyzed using Epi Info version 3.5.1 Windows.
Out of 240 newborns enrolled, 80 were cases and were 160 controls. The mean age of cases was 1.69±2.73 days compared to 1.46±2.36 days for controls (p=0.26). Cases significantly differed from controls on mother’s marital status (p=0.02), level of education (p<0.001), number of prenatal consultations (p<0.001), anemia chemoprophylaxis (p=0.01) and drug abuse (p<0.001). Cases and controls were similar for prematurity, respiratory distress, sepsis, meningitis and urinary tract infection. The death rate was identical in both groups (p=0.52). Using Univariate analysis, risk factors associated to mortality in both groups were prematurity (p<0.001) and low birth weight (p<0.001).
This study showed no statistical difference in morbidity and mortality between newborns from HIV positive and HIV negative mothers.