Washington: The drugs given to HIV-positive pregnant women can cause significant long-term heart problems for the non-HIV-infected babies they carry, says a new study.
Such medicines help prevent the transmission of the virus from mother to infant but may cause impaired development of heart muscle and reduced heart performance in non-HIV-infected children.
"What our study indicates is that there is potentially a long-term price to be paid for protecting the children of HIV-infected mothers from the virus," said Steven E. Lipshultz, pediatrician at the Children`s Hospital of Michigan in the US and chair of pediatrics for the Wayne State University School of Medicine.
The study compared heart development and long-term heart functioning in 428 uninfected children of HIV-infected mothers to children who had not been exposed to HIV from 2007 to 2012.
There was a significant association between lagging heart muscle development and impaired pumping ability in the children of the HIV-infected mothers who had received the medications, found the study.
The findings show clearly that further investigation of their long-term impact on the heart health of the children involved is needed, said Lipshultz.
The study appeared in the journal AIDS.