Research Article: Vitamin D Status of HIV-Infected Women and Its Association with HIV Disease Progression, Anemia, and Mortality

Date Published: January 19, 2010

Publisher: Public Library of Science

Author(s): Saurabh Mehta, Edward Giovannucci, Ferdinand M. Mugusi, Donna Spiegelman, Said Aboud, Ellen Hertzmark, Gernard I. Msamanga, David Hunter, Wafaie W. Fawzi, Adrian V. Hernandez.

Abstract: Vitamin D has a potential role in slowing HIV disease progression and preventing mortality based on its extensive involvement in the immune system; however, this relationship has not been examined in large studies or in resource-limited settings.

Partial Text: Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) disease is characterized by a progressive deterioration in immune function. Interventions that offset this impairment have the potential to slow HIV disease progression and improve quality of life. The latter has become increasingly important in the face of HIV infection becoming a chronic disease in those with access to anti-retroviral therapy (ART).

Of the 1078 women enrolled in the trial, baseline vitamin D concentrations were known for 885; one woman was excluded for having WHO HIV stage IV disease. The median follow-up time for participants included in this analysis was 69.5 months (Interquartile Range: 44.7–79.3 months). Baseline characteristics of the 884 women included in this analysis are presented in Table 1. T-cell counts measured at least twice during follow-up were available for only 636 women. There was no significant difference in CD4 T-cell counts at baseline between the women with low vitamin D and women with adequate vitamin D (Wilcoxon test; p = 0.29). However, CD8 and CD3 T-cell counts were significantly higher in women with low vitamin D, compared to women with adequate vitamin D (p<0.01, p = 0.02, respectively). The results obtained in analyses with low vs. adequate vitamin D status were similar to those obtained with vitamin D quintiles (data not shown), unless noted below. In this study, low vitamin D levels at baseline were significantly associated with increased risk of HIV disease progression, severe anemia, and hypochromic microcytosis in HIV-infected Tanzanian women. Women in the highest quintile of vitamin D also had a significantly lower risk of all-cause mortality compared to women in the lowest quintile of vitamin D. In contrast, no significant association of vitamin D status was observed with AIDS-related mortality or T-cell counts. Source:


0 0 vote
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments