Associations Between Dietary Intake Before 6 Months of Age and Rapid Weight Gain Among HIV-exposed Uninfected Infants

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Abstract

Introduction:

HIV-exposed, uninfected (HEU) infants are potentially at risk for cardiovascular disease due to in utero exposures. Feeding practices of the infant could compound this risk. Few studies have, however, evaluated dietary intake of HEU infants. We determined dietary factors associated with rapid weight gain (RWG) among HEU infants from birth to 6 months followed at the University of Miami HIV Screening Program.

Methods:

In this cross-sectional analysis, logistic regression was used to determine dietary factors associated with RWG defined as a >0.67 SD change in weight-for-age z score from birth to assessment (0.3–6 months). Other covariates included demographics, birth, maternal and gestational characteristics, and antiretroviral exposures.

Results:

A total of 86 full-term HEU infants with a mean age of 3.4 months (SD 1.8 months) were included in this analysis. Fifty-five percent of mothers were obese. Overall, 39.5% of infants exhibited RWG. A significant association between consumption of infant cereal and RWG (odds ratio, 3.52; 95% confidence interval, 1.02–12.10) was found after adjusting for birth weight, current age, and energy intake. Those infants who consumed the highest tertile of protein were less likely to gain weight rapidly after adjusting for the same covariates (odds ratio, 0.15; 95% confidence interval, 0.02–0.94).

Conclusions:

Overall differences in weight gain during early infancy are at least partly explained by means of infant feeding in young HEU infants in the United States. Dietary counseling for families of HEU should reinforce current feeding practice recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

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