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Growth in syphilis-exposed and -unexposed uninfected children from birth to 18 months of age in China: a longitudinal study.

Luo, Huanyuan, Qiu, Liqian, Wu, Yanqiao and Zhang, Xiaohui (2019) 'Growth in syphilis-exposed and -unexposed uninfected children from birth to 18 months of age in China: a longitudinal study.'. Scientific Reports, Vol 9, Issue 1, p. 4416.

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Early infant growth and development has attracted worldwide attention. Although numerous studies have demonstrated that maternal syphilis increases the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes and congenital syphilis, the subsequent growth pattern and morbidity of syphilis-exposed uninfected infants are less understood. We conducted a longitudinal study to compare the growth pattern and disease distribution of syphilis-exposed and syphilis-unexposed uninfected children, and World Health Organization (WHO) reference standards from birth to 18 months of age. We obtained data from a prospective cohort study in three representative regions of Zhejiang Province in China. A total of 333 syphilis-uninfected children born to women with syphilis were recruited at birth and matched with 333 syphilis-uninfected children born to women without syphilis during pregnancy. Children were followed-up by medical staff every 3 months until 18 months of age. The mixed-effects model was used to compare changes in growth patterns and influencing factors between the two groups. Mean weight, length, and head circumference of children, as well as disease prevalence, were similar between the groups. Multilevel analysis indicated that, after controlling confounders, growth velocities were comparable in both weight and length measures from birth to 18 months old between the two groups; however, low birth weight had a negative impact on weight gain in both groups. There was no significant negative association between syphilis exposure and early growth and health in children, under 18 months in a setting with universal coverage of therapeutic interventions for maternal syphilis. These findings may contribute to improving prevention efforts for mother-to-child transmission of syphilis, such as early screening for syphilis in pregnant women, universal coverage of treatment, and interventions for exposed children. Children with low birth weight should be given priority as this is a risk factor for weight gain.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: WC Communicable Diseases > Sexually Transmitted Diseases > WC 160 Syphilis
WS Pediatrics > WS 100 General works
WS Pediatrics > WS 20 Research (General)
Faculty: Department: Clinical Sciences & International Health > Clinical Sciences Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
SWORD Depositor: JISC Pubrouter
Depositing User: Stacy Murtagh
Date Deposited: 28 Mar 2019 13:08
Last Modified: 07 Aug 2019 14:22


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