Effect of dietary intakes on pregnancy outcomes: a comparative study among HIV-infected and uninfected women at Nyanza provincial general hospital, Kenya

  • JO Mala
  • PJ Tuitoek
  • RA Odhiambo


The effect of maternal dietary intakes on pregnancy outcomes was assessed in a descriptive, cross-sectional survey among women attending the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) of HIV program at Nyanza Provincial General Hospital (NPGH), Kenya. A Purposive sampling procedure was employed to select pregnant women (n=107) who had been tested for HIV into the study. Data on socio-demographic characteristics, health factors, dietary intakes and pregnancy outcomes were collected through an interview schedule from HIV-infected (n=48) and uninfected (n=59) pregnant women. Maternal dietary intakes were investigated using 24-Hour Diet Recalls and Food Frequency Questionnaires (FFQs). Pregnancy outcomes were assessed in terms of infants’ birth weights, gestational age, birth complications and stillbirths. Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to analyze data for descriptive and inferential statistics while NutriSurvey computer program analyzed dietary data for nutrient intake levels. The results showed that protein (p = 0.025) and vitamin B12 (p = 0.021) intakes had significant correlation with infant’s gestational age among the HIV-infected women while calorie (p = 0.042), vitamin B6 (p = 0.048) and vitamin B12 (p = 0.015) intakes significantly influenced infant’s gestational age among uninfected women. Magnesium, iron and folate had a significant influence (p < 0.05) on infant’s gestational age in both HIV-infected and uninfected mothers. The results further revealed that HIV-infected women gave birth to infants of low birth weight (2.70 ± 0.3799 kg) compared with those uninfected (3.16 ± 0.5307 kg), while the gestational age of infants born to HIV-infected mothers was shorter (34.6 ± 3.24 weeks) compared with that of infants born to uninfected mothers (39.4 ± 2.21 weeks). The study concluded that both HIV and dietary intake have significant effects on pregnancy outcomes. It is imperative, therefore, that appropriate nutrition intervention be put in place to improve maternal health during HIV infection to ensure favourable pregnancy outcomes.

Key words: Dietary, HIV, pregnancy, outcomes, effect

African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, Volume 12 No. 6

Author Biographies

JO Mala
Great Lakes University of Kisumu, P.O. Box 2224, Kisumu, Kenya.
PJ Tuitoek
Egerton University, P.O. Box 536, Egerton, Kenya
RA Odhiambo
Egerton University, P.O. Box 536, Egerton, Kenya

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1684-5374
print ISSN: 1684-5358