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Children exposed or unexposed to human immunodeficiency virus: Weight, height, and body mass index during the first 5 years of life-a danish nationwide cohort

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Background: Exposures to human immunodeficiency (HIV) and antiretroviral therapy in utero may have adverse effects on infant growth. Among children born in Denmark and aged 0-5 years, we aimed to compare anthropometric outcomes in HIV-exposed but uninfected (HEU) children with those in children not exposed to HIV. Methods: In a nationwide register-based study we included all singleton HEU children born in Denmark in 2000-2016. HEU children were individually matched by child sex, parity, and maternal place of birth to 5 singleton controls born to mothers without HIV. Weight-for-age z (WAZ) scores, length-for-age z (LAZ) scores, and weight-for-length or body mass index-for-age z scores were generated according to the World Health Organization standards and the Fenton growth chart for premature infants. Differences in mean z scores were analyzed using linear mixed models, both univariate and adjusted for social and maternal factors. Results: In total, 485 HEU children and 2495 HIV-unexposed controls were included. Compared with controls, HEU children were smaller at birth, with an adjusted difference in mean WAZ and LAZ scores of -0.29 (95% confidence interval [CI], -.46 to -.12) and -0.51 (95% CI, -.71 to -.31), respectively (both P ≤ .001). Over time, there was a trend toward increasing WAZ and LAZ scores in HEU children, and there was no significant difference in adjusted WAZ scores after age 14 days (-0.13 [95% CI, -.27 to .01]; P = .07) and LAZ scores after age 6 months (-0.15 [95% CI, -.32 to .02]; P = .08). Conclusion: Compared with a matched control group, HEU children were smaller at birth, but this difference decreased with time and is not considered to have a negative effect on the health and well-being of HEU children during early childhood.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)2168-2177
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2020

    Research areas

  • Child, Growth, HIV exposed uninfected, Longitudinal, growth, longitudinal, child

ID: 57520758