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South African Journal of Child Health

On-line version ISSN 1999-7671
Print version ISSN 1994-3032


GOOSEN, C et al. Anaemia, iron and vitamin A status among South African school-aged children living with and without HIV. S. Afr. j. child health [online]. 2022, vol.16, n.2, pp.105-110. ISSN 1999-7671.

BACKGROUND: Data on iron and vitamin A deficiency are scarce in school-aged children living with HIV (HIV+) compared with children without HIV (HIV-). Both deficiencies can contribute to anaemia OBJECTIVE: To assess anaemia, iron and vitamin A status in a sample of HIV+ and HIV- school-aged children in South Africa METHODS: In this comparative cross-sectional study, biomarkers for anaemia (haemoglobin), iron (plasma ferritin (PF), soluble transferrin receptor), vitamin A (retinol-binding protein (RBP)) and inflammatory status (C-reactive protein, a-1-acid glycoprotein) were measured in 8 - 13-year-old children from Cape Town living with (n=143) and without HIV (n=148). Measurements of PF and RBP were adjusted for inflammation using a regression-correction approach RESULTS: HIV+ children had higher prevalences of anaemia (29% v. 14%; odds ratio (OR) = 2.6; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.4 - 4.9; p=0.002), iron-deficient erythropoiesis (20% v. 9%; OR=2.5; 95% CI 1.2 - 5.0; p=0.013) and iron deficiency anaemia (11% v. 4%; OR=2.9; 95% CI 1.1 - 7.7; p=0.035) than HIV- children. Marginal vitamin A deficiency was noted in 52% of HIV+ and 57% of HIV- children (p=0.711). Subclinical inflammation was more prevalent in HIV+ than HIV- children (p=0.012 CONCLUSION: Anaemia, iron-deficient erythropoiesis and iron deficiency anaemia were more prevalent in HIV+ than HIV- children. Prevalence of marginal vitamin A deficiency was high in both groups. Efforts to improve micronutrient status and mitigate nutritional determinants of anaemia in HIV+ children from resource-limited settings should be prioritised

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