Journal Article

The Significance of Vitamin A and Carotenoid Status in Persons Infected by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus

Ajani Nimmagadda, William A. O'Brien and Matthew Bidwell Goetz

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 26, issue 3, pages 711-718
Published in print March 1998 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online March 1998 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/514565
The Significance of Vitamin A and Carotenoid Status in Persons Infected by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus

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Hyporetinemia is associated with increased childhood morbidity and mortality that is reversible with vitamin A supplementation. Although vitamin A deficiency is otherwise rare in developed countries, the prevalence of hyporetinemia in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected persons is up to 29%. Hyporetinemic HIV-infected patients have a 3.5–5-fold increased risk of death. Furthermore, HIV-infected patients with very low or very high intake of vitamin A and β-carotene (a vitamin A precursor) have greater rates of disease progression than do patients with intermediate intake. In developing countries up to 60% of HIV-infected pregnant women are hyporetinemic. In such women the relative risk of perinatal HIV transmission may be increased more than fourfold. These data indicate that vitamin A deficiency is common in HIV-infected patients in the developed world and strongly suggest that vitamin A supplementation may be especially useful in adjunctive therapy for HIV-infected pregnant women who reside in the developing world.

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Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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