Although growth failure is common during pediatric infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and associated with increased mortality, the relation of specific nutrition factors with growth and mortality has not been well characterized. A longitudinal study was conducted with 194 HIV-infected infants in Kampala, Uganda. Plasma vitamin A, carotenoids (α-carotene, β-carotene, β-cryptoxanthin, lycopene, and lutein/zeaxanthin), and vitamin E were measured at age 14 wk, and weight and height were followed up to age 12 mo. Vitamin A and low plasma carotenoid concentrations were predictive of decreased weight and height velocity. Between ages 14 wk and 12 mo, 32% of infants died. Underweight, stunting, and low concentrations of plasma carotenoids were associated with increased risk of death in univariate analyses. Plasma vitamin A concentrations were not associated with risk of death. In a final multivariate model adjusting for weight-for-age, plasma β-carotene was significantly associated with increased mortality (odds ratio: 3.16, 95% confidence interval: 1.38 to 7.21, P < 0.006). These data suggest that low concentrations of plasma carotenoids are associated with increased risk of death during HIV infection among infants in Uganda.
- Human immunodeficiency virus
- Vitamin A