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Early nutrition and growth have been found to be important early exposures for later development. Studies of crude growth in terms of weight and length/height, however, cannot elucidate how body composition (BC) might mediate associations between nutrition and later development. In this study, we aimed to examine the relation between fat mass (FM) or fat-free mass (FFM) tissues at birth and their accretion during early infancy, and later developmental progression. In a birth cohort from Ethiopia, 455 children who have BC measurement at birth and 416 who have standardised rate of BC growth during infancy were followed up for outcome variable, and were included in the statistical analysis. The study sample was restricted to mothers living in Jimma town who gave birth to a term baby with a birth weight ≥1500 g and no evident congenital anomalies. The relationship between the exposure and outcome variables was examined using linear-mixed regression model. The finding revealed that FFM at birth was positively associated with global developmental progression from 1 to 5 years (β=1·75; 95 % CI 0·11, 3·39) and from 4 to 5 years (β=1·34; 95 % CI 0·23, 2·44) in the adjusted model. Furthermore, the rate of postnatal FFM tissue accretion was positively associated with development at 1 year of age (β=0·50; 95 % CI 0·01, 0·99). Neither fetal nor postnatal FM showed a significant association. In conclusion, fetal, rather than postnatal, FFM tissue accretion was associated with developmental progression. Intervention studies are needed to assess whether nutrition interventions increasing FFM also increase cognitive development.
Bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) is an inexpensive, quick and non-invasive method to determine body composition. Equations used in BIA are typically derived in healthy individuals of European descent. BIA is specific to health status and ethnicity and may therefore provide inaccurate results in populations of different ethnic origin and health status. The aim of the present study was to test the validity of BIA in Ethiopian antiretroviral-naive HIV patients.
BIA was validated against the 2H dilution technique by comparing fat-free mass (FFM) measured by the two methods using paired t tests and Bland–Altman plots. BIA was based on single frequency (50 kHz) whole-body measurements. Data were obtained at three health facilities in Jimma Zone, Oromia Region, South-West Ethiopia. Data from 281 HIV-infected participants were available. Two-thirds were female and the mean age was 32·7 (sd 8·6) years. Also, 46 % were underweight with a BMI below 18·5 kg/m2. There were no differences in FFM between the methods. Overall, BIA slightly underestimated FFM by 0·1 kg (−0·1, 95 % CI −0·3, 0·2 kg). The Bland–Altman plot indicated acceptable agreement with an upper limit of agreement of 4·5 kg and a lower limit of agreement of −4·6 kg, but with a small correlation between the mean difference and the average FFM. BIA slightly overestimated FFM at low values compared with the 2H dilution technique, while it slightly underestimated FFM at high values. In conclusion, BIA proved to be valid in this population and may therefore be useful for measuring body composition in routine practice in HIV-infected African individuals.
Low vitamin D level in HIV-positive persons has been associated with disease progression. We compared the levels of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) in HIV-positive and HIV-negative persons, and investigated the role of nutritional supplementation and antiretroviral treatment (ART) on serum 25(OH)D levels. A randomised nutritional supplementation trial was conducted at Jimma University Specialized Hospital, Ethiopia. The trial compared 200 g/d of lipid-based nutrient supplement (LNS) with no supplementation during the first 3 months of ART. The supplement provided twice the recommended daily allowance of vitamin D (10 μg/200 g). The level of serum 25(OH)D before nutritional intervention and ART initiation was compared with serum 25(OH)D of HIV-negative individuals. A total of 348 HIV-positive and 100 HIV-negative persons were recruited. The median baseline serum 25(OH)D level was higher in HIV-positive than in HIV-negative persons (42·5 v. 35·3 nmol/l, P<0·001). In all, 282 HIV-positive persons with BMI>17 kg/m2 were randomised to either LNS supplementation (n 189) or no supplementation (n 93) during the first 3 months of ART. The supplemented group had a 4·1 (95 % CI 1·7, 6·4) nmol/l increase in serum 25(OH)D, whereas the non-supplemented group had a 10·8 (95 % CI 7·8, 13·9) nmol/l decrease in serum 25(OH)D level after 3 months of ART. Nutritional supplementation that contained vitamin D prevented a reduction in serum 25(OH)D levels in HIV-positive persons initiating ART. Vitamin D replenishment may be needed to prevent reduction in serum 25(OH)D levels during ART.
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