Background Since the evolution of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, every effort has been made to increase the survival and quality of life of the infected patients. In this regard, metabolic/nutritional derangements are among the most important problems. So, we planned this study to evaluate the serum level of vitamin D as an essential micronutrient with known immunologic roles in HIV-infected patients and compare it with that of HIV-uninfected individuals, and to identify risk factors for possible hypovitaminosis D in the former group.
Methods This was a cross sectional study on 35 HIV-infected patients (cases) and 35 HIV-uninfected individuals (controls). All the participants were > = 18 years-old. Patients with conditions, like tuberculosis, or using drugs, with known effects on serum vitamin D level were excluded. The control group was matched for age, sex, nutritional habits and occupation (exposure to sunlight). HIV infection was confirmed in the cases with 2 positive HIV ELISAs and then a positive HIV Western Blot test. Serum level of vitamin D was measured by ELISA method. Chi-square and independent T tests were used for analysis of data.
Results Of the HIV-infected patients, 9 people (25.7%) were receiving antiretroviral therapy. Twenty-three HIV-infected patient (65.7%) had hypovitaminosis D (vitamin D < 30 ng/mL), comparing with only one person (2.8%) in controls (p value < 0.05). The mean level of vitamin D in the serum was significantly lower in HIV-infected patients (25.78 ng/mL) compared with HIV- uninfected individuals (41.4 ng/mL) (p value < 0.008). There was no association between hypovitaminosis D and sex, age, body mass index, CD4+ cell count, haemoglobin level and antiretroviral therapy in HIV-infected patients.
Conclusion This study shows the possible association of HIV-infection with vitamin D deficiency, and thus the evaluation of this group of patients for hypovitaminosis D seems reasonable.
- Vitamin D