Vitamin A deficiency and maternal-infant transmission of HIV in two metropolitan areas in the United States


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Abstract

Objective:To determine whether vitamin A deficiency is associated with maternal-infant HIV transmission among HIV-infected pregnant women in two United States cities.Methods:Third trimester serum vitamin A levels were evaluated using high-performance liquid chromatography in 133 HIV-infected women who delivered livebirths during May 1986 to May 1994 and whose infants had known HIV infection status.Results:Sixteen per cent (seven out of 44) of the transmitting mothers and 6% (five out of 89) of the non-transmitting mothers had severe vitamin A deficiency (<0.70 μmol/l; P = 0.05). Maternal-infant transmission was also associated with prematurity <37 weeks gestation (P = 0.02), and Cesarean section delivery (P = 0.04), CD4 percentage (P = 0.03) and marginally associated with duration of membrane rupture of ≥ 4 h (P = 0.06) by univariate analysis. In a multivariate logistic regression model, severe vitamin A deficiency [adjusted odds ratio (AOR), 5.05; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.20–21.24], Cesarean section delivery (AOR, 3.75; 95% CI, 1.10–12.87), and prematurity (AOR, 2.25; 95% CI, 1.22–4.13) were associated with transmission after adjusting for CD4+ percentage, and duration of membrane rupture.Conclusion:Increased risk of maternal-infant transmission was associated with severe vitamin A deficiency among non-breastfeeding women in these cohorts from the United States.

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