Predictors of CD4+ lymphocyte count among HIV-Seropositive and HIV-Seronegative pregnant women in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

  • SH Kapiga
  • D Mwakagile
  • D Spiegelman
  • GI Msamanga
  • D Hunter
  • WW Fawzi


Objective: To determine the predictors of CD4+ lymphocyte count among pregnant women in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Methods: Between 04/1995 and 03/1997, HIV-seropositive (n=1,027) and HIV- seronegative (n=280) pregnant women were interviewed to obtain socio-demographic characteristics. Later, blood samples was collected for determination of T-lymphocyte subsets and other haematological indices.
Results: CD4+ lymphocyte count was significantly higher among HlV-seronegative women (mean=770 cells/mm3, standard deviation (SD)=232 cells/mm3) than HIV-seropositive women (mean=422 cells/mm3, SD=205 cells/mm3). Most HIV-seropositive women were asymptomatic, in WHO clinical stage 1 (84.3%). Among HIV-seropositive women, total white blood count (WBC) and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) remained significantly correlated with CD4+ after adjusting for other predictors in multivariate analyses. For women of average age 25 years, the CD4+ lymphocyte count increased by about 16 cells/mm3 for each increment of 1000 WBC cells/mm3, while each 10 mm/hr increase in ESR was associated with a
reduction of CD4+ lymphocyte count of about 8 cells/mm3.
Conclusion: These results show that simple and inexpensive haematological indices cannot be recommended for use as alternative measures of HIV-related immunosuppression in this population of mainly asymptomatic women.

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