What is it about?

Using a case-control study design, we randomly sampled the antenatal records of 125 pregnant women with clinician-diagnosed pre-eclampsia (cases) and 125 others without pre-eclampsia (controls) who visited Atua Government Hospital in the eastern region of Ghana between June 2014 and January 2017. All selected records had available routine HIV and malaria test results and were analyzed statistically. In all 250 records, 122 (48.8%) were HIV positive and 35 (14.0%) had malaria. Of the 122 HIV-positive pregnant women, 29 (23.8%) were cases and 93 (76.2%) were controls; of the 35 women with malaria, one was in the case group (1/35, 2.9%) and the other 34 (97.1%) were in the control. Group. Pregnant women with pre-eclampsia had lower odds of HIV infection (odds ratio [OR] 0.10, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.06–0.19: adjusted AOR 0.07, 95% CI 0.04–0.13, P < 0.001). Similarly, pregnant women with pre-eclampsia had lower odds of having malaria infection (OR 0.02, 95% CI 0.00–0.17, P = 0.025; adjusted OR 0.00, 95% CI 0.00–0.01, P < 0.001).

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Why is it important?

Pre-eclampsia is an obstetric condition characterized by increased blood pressure above 140/90 mm Hg occurring for the first time during pregnancy coupled with proteinuria and/or maternal organ dysfunction, after 20 weeks of pregnancy.1 Pre-eclampsia has been linked to more than 70 000 maternal deaths worldwide annually, the majority occurring in low-income countries (2.8% of live births). The etiology of pre-eclampsia is not fully understood, but there is a consensus that it is related to an abnormality in the placenta resulting in endothelial dysfunction and vascular spasm. The nagging concern has always been what causes the placental disease that leads to the pre-eclampsia cascade. The study aimed to evaluate the association of malaria and HIV with pre-eclampsia by evaluating their prevalence among pregnant women.

Perspectives

Women with pre-eclampsia had lower odds of HIV and malaria infection in pregnancy.

Dr Adekunle Sanyaolu

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This page is a summary of: HIV and malaria prevalence among pregnant women with and without pre‐eclampsia at the Atua Government Hospital in Ghana’s eastern region, International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics, May 2022, Wiley, DOI: 10.1002/ijgo.14255.
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