Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have found a correlation between teens and young women and complications during pregnancy.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have found a correlation between teens and young women and complications during pregnancy. The study group was compared to HIV-negative women in the same peer group.

Several clinics and hospitals took part in the study. Records from more than 150 patients were researched with pregnancy complications and HIV status being the primary concern. Authors studied about 12 years of hospital records.

Teens are already in a higher risk group for pregnancy complications, but having HIV appears to increase that risk even more. Despite being HIV positive, teens and young women in these groups also reported higher instances of unprotected sex even after having pregnancy complications.

The study looked at medical records only, so researchers were not able to determine the cause of pregnancy. Of the women in the study group, 66-percent were treated for one or more pregnancies. There were a total of 96 pregnancies in the study group. About 34-percent of the women gave birth early and another 14-percent suffered from spontaneous abortions.

Women in the study were infected with HIV either at birth or through sexual behavior. At birth HIV patients were less likely to become pregnant (38 out of 130). Thirty-eight of the 51 teens who contracted HIV through sexual behavior became pregnant.

Researchers hope this information will help educators and healthcare providers better understand the at-risk nature of teens and young women who are HIV-positive and sexually active. Further study is needed to determine the cause of pregnancy in relation to the higher risk of complications during pregnancy.

Source: Johns Hopkins Medicine. Susie Jang, M.D., of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston; P. Todd Korthuis, M.D. M.P.H., of Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Ore.; and Maria Rosario G. Araneta, Ph.D., of the University of California-San Diego. 2 February, 2011.