Micronutrient intake of HIV-infected women in Mangaung, Free State
Background. Poor nutritional status in HIV/AIDS patients can affect immune function profoundly, leading to
faster disease progression and earlier death.
Objective. To determine the micronutrient intake of HIV-infected women in Mangaung.
Design and setting. A cross-sectional study was undertaken in Mangaung, Bloemfontein, Free State.
Subjects and methods. A representative group of 500 pre-menopausal women (25 - 44 years) was randomly
selected to participate in the study. Micronutrient intake was determined using a Quantitative Food Frequency
Questionnaire (QFFQ). Median micronutrient intakes were compared with the Recommended Dietary Allowance
(RDA) or Adequate Intake (AI) values. The prevalence of women with intakes ≤ 67% of the RDA or AI was
calculated. Median micronutrient intakes were compared between HIV-infected and uninfected women using
non-parametric 95% confidence intervals (CIs) and the Mann-Whitney test.
Results. Sixty-one per cent of women in the younger age group (25 - 34 years) and 38% of older women (35 - 44
years) were HIV-infected. Between 46.6% and 70.7% of all women consumed ≤ 67% of the RDA or AI for calcium,
total iron, selenium, folate and vitamin C. At least 25% of HIV-infected women did not meet either the RDA or the
AI for vitamins A, D and E. Younger HIV-infected women had significantly higher intakes of calcium (p = 0.046),
phosphorus (p = 0.04), potassium (p = 0.04), vitamin B12 (p = 0.01), vitamin D (p = 0.03) and vitamin E (p = 0.04)
than their HIV-uninfected counterparts. Older HIV-infected women had significantly lower intakes of haem iron
(p = 0.03), non-haem iron (p = 0.04) and selenium (p = 0.04) than their HIV-uninfected counterparts.
Conclusions. Insufficient micronutrient intakes are common in both HIV-infected and uninfected women. A
well-balanced diet and micronutrient supplementation seem warranted to ensure optimal health and survival,
particularly in HIV-infected women.
South African Journal of Clinical Nutrition Vol. 20 (1) 2007: pp. 28-36