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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - BMC Nutrition
Title Malnutrition status and associated factors among HIV-positive patients enrolled in ART clinics in Zimbabwe
Author(s)
Volume 3
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2017
Page numbers 15
URL https://bmcnutr.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40795-017-0132-8
Abstract
Background
Sub-Saharan Africa suffers from a high burden of undernutrition, affecting 23.2% of its population, and in 2015 constituted 69% of the estimated people living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) globally. Zimbabwe, in Southern African has a HIV prevalence of 14.7%, but malnutrition (under- and over-nutrition) in this population has not been characterized. A nationally representative survey was therefore conducted to determine malnutrition prevalence and associated factors among HIV-positive adults (≥15 years) enrolled at antiretroviral therapy (ART) clinics in Zimbabwe.

Methods
Height and weight measurements were taken for all enrolled participants who had attended their scheduled clinic review visits. Malnutrition was determined using body mass index (BMI) calculations and classified as undernutrition (<18.5 kg/m2), normal (18.5–24.9 kg/m2) or over-nutrition (≥25 kg/m2). Multivariate-adjusted odds ratios (aOR) were used to assess factors associated with undernutrition and over-nutrition.

Results
Of 1,242 HIV-positive adults interviewed, 849 (69%) were female and median age was 41 years (IQR, 34–49). The majority (93%) were on ART with a median treatment duration of 3 years (IQR, 1.1–4.3) and 581 (56%) had advanced HIV disease and a median CD4 cell count of 348 cells/uL (IQR, 174–510) at their last scheduled visit. There were 776 (63.6%) who had a normal BMI, 122 (10%) who had under-nutrition (1.4%-severe; 1.5%-moderate; 7.1%-mild) and 322 (26.4%) who had over-nutrition (18.4%-overweight; 8%-obesity). Females and those of older age (35-44 years and ≥45 years) versus 15–24 years were less likely to have undernutrition. Those reporting difficulty in accessing food in the past month [aOR = 1.67 (95%CI, 1.10–2.55)] and who had advanced HIV disease [aOR = 2.25 (95% CI, 1.34–3.77)] were more likely to have undernutrition. Being overweight or obese was more likely in females [aOR = 3.86 (95% CI, 2.72–5.48)], in those age ≥45 years [aOR = 2.24 (95% CI,1.01–5.04)], those with higher wealth quintile and those with CD4 > 350 cells/mL[aOR = 4.85 (95% CI, 1.03–22.77)].

Conclusion
Zimbabwe faces two types of nutritional disorders; undernutrition and overweight / obesity, in its HIV-infected population, both of which are associated with increased morbidity and mortality. This may reflect a shift in the pattern of HIV/AIDS from being a highly fatal infectious disease to a chronic manageable condition.

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