Cognitive and language outcomes in HIV-uninfected infants exposed to combined antiretroviral therapy in utero and through extended breast-feeding
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OBJECTIVE: To determine whether there is a higher risk for cognitive or language delay among HIV-exposed uninfected (HEU) children exposed to cART (zidovudine/lamivudine/lopinavir/ritonavir) in utero and through 1 year of breast-feeding (World health Organization Option B+), compared with the control children born to HIV-uninfected mothers. DESIGN: This is a double cohort study from Lusaka, Zambia. METHODS: HEU (n = 97) and control (n = 103) children aged 15-36 months were assessed on their early nonverbal problem-solving and language skills using the standardized Capute Scales. A score of less than 85 on the Capute Full-Scale Developmental Quotient (FSDQ) was considered indicative of developmental delay and was the primary outcome of interest. RESULTS: An FSDQ of less than 85 was found in eight (8.3%) of HEU participants and 15 (14.6%) of controls. In univariate logistic regressions, lower income [odds ratio (OR) = 0.93, P = 0.02], older infant age (OR = 1.08, P = 0.03), lower birth weight (OR = 0.16, P < 0.001), and less maternal education (OR = 0.41, P = 0.047) were associated with the probability of FSDQ less than 85, whereas Group (control/HEU) was not (OR = 1.88, P = 0.16). In the multivariable analysis, only lower birth weight (OR = 0.15, P < 0.001) remained associated with FSDQ less than 85. CONCLUSIONS: Our study did not support the presence of an adverse effect on cognitive and language development with prolonged antepartum and postpartum cART e/xposure. Larger studies and studies of older HEU children will be required to confirm these reassuring findings.