Cardio-metabolic health of offspring exposed in utero to human immuno-deficiency virus and anti-retroviral treatment: A systematic review


BACKGROUND: Antiretroviral treatment (ART) use during pregnancy continues to rise as it is known to decrease the likelihood of HIV transmission from mother to child. However, it is still unknown whether foetal exposure to (ART) may affect the foetal environment, predisposing the offspring to cardiometabolic risk. Therefore, the aim of this study was to systematically review the cardio-metabolic effects of in utero exposure to HIV/ART on offspring. METHODS: We carried out a systematic review and obtained literature from the Google scholar, PubMed, ProQuest, Web of Science, and Scopus databases. Two independent reviewers evaluated the titles, abstracts, and full-length English contents. Data from the eligible studies were included. RESULTS: The search yielded 7596 records. After assessing all of these records, 35 of the full-length articles were included in this systematic review. Several studies showed that low birth weight, small head circumference, and altered mitochondrial content were more common among HIV-exposed uninfected (HEU) children compared to HIV-unexposed uninfected children (HUU). A few studies demonstrated elevated triglyceride levels, lower levels of insulin, and increased blood pressure, oxidative stress, vascular dysfunction, cardiac damage, and myocardial dysfunction among HEU children compared with HUU children. CONCLUSION: Most findings showed that there were cardio-metabolic health risk factors among HEU children, indicating that maternal exposure to HIV and ART may negatively affect foetal health, which may lead to cardio-metabolic morbidity later in life.


Matjuda EN, Engwa GA, Mungamba MM, Sewani-Rusike CR, Goswami N, Nkeh-Chungag BN




  • Population(s)
    • Women
    • Children or Youth (less than 18 years old)
    • General HIV+ population
  • Prevention, Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Engagement and Care Cascade
  • Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Treatment
  • Co-morbidities
    • Cardiovascular


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