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.