Schapkaitz E(1), Libhaber E(2), Rhemtula H(3), Gerber A(3), Jacobson BF(1), Chauke L(3), Büller HR(4). Author information:
(1)Department of Molecular Medicine and Hematology, Faculty of Health Sciences,
University of Witwatersrand Medical School, Johannesburg, South Africa.
(2)HS Research Office and School of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health
Sciences, University of Witwatersrand Medical School, Johannesburg, South
(3)Department of Obstetrics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of
Witwatersrand Medical School, Johannesburg, South Africa.
(4)Department of Vascular Medicine, Academic Medical Center, University of
Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
OBJECTIVE: To assess risk factors for venous thromboembolism (VTE) in African women in order to guide thromboprophylaxis. METHODS: A case-control study was performed at a specialist obstetric unit in South Africa from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2020. We identified 128 cases with VTE and 640 controls, matched for gestation. RESULTS: Prepartum risk factors associated with VTE included; medical comorbidities (odds ratios [OR] 5.32, 95% confidence intervals [CI] 1.82-15.56), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) (OR 2.84, 95% CI 1.50-5.41), and hospital admission or immobility (OR 5.33, 95% CI 1.17-24.22). Postpartum, the following were identified as significant risk factors; medical comorbidities (OR 23.72, 95% CI 8.75-64.27), hospital admission or immobility (OR 13.18, 95% CI 5.04-34.49), systemic infection (OR 4.48, 95% CI 1.28-15.68), HIV (OR 3.20, 95% CI 1.49-6.87), pre-eclampsia and fetal growth restriction (OR 2.74, 95% CI 1.18-6.36), and postpartum hemorrhage (OR 4.38, 95% CI 1.75-10.97). Antiretroviral therapy, opportunistic infections, and viral load >50 copies/ml, however, were not associated with VTE risk among HIV-infected participants. CONCLUSION: HIV was a significant risk factor for pregnancy-related thrombosis. This was independent of traditional HIV risk factors. As such, future studies are recommended to explore the mechanisms of thrombosis associated with HIV infection.
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