Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
Risk of Premature Birth Increased with Combination Antiretroviral Therapy
Combination antiretroviral therapy administered to pregnant women increases the risk of premature delivery, especially when therapy includes a protease inhibitor, according to a study published in the Dec. 22 issue of the journal AIDS. Reuters Health reports that this increased risk was independent of a woman's CD4+ T cell count and illegal drug use, and treatment had no effect on infant birth weight, implying that the therapy had an "effect on the mother rather than on uteroplacental function." Dr. Marie-Louise Newell and colleagues from the Institute of Child Health in London recorded that 896 of 3920 women observed prospectively between 1986 and 2000 received antiretroviral therapy during pregnancy. Sixty-four percent of the women received zidovudine monotherapy, 24% received combination therapy without a protease inhibitor, and 12% received combination therapy with a protease inhibitor. Combination therapy without a protease
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