Growth response to antiretroviral treatment in HIV-infected children: a cohort study from Lilongwe, Malawi

Weigel, Ralf; Phiri, Sam; Chiputula, Fred; Gumulira, Joe; Brinkhof, Martin; Gsponer, Thomas; Tweya, Hannock; Egger, Matthias; Keiser, Olivia (2010). Growth response to antiretroviral treatment in HIV-infected children: a cohort study from Lilongwe, Malawi. Tropical medicine and international health TM&IH, 15(8), pp. 934-944. Oxford: Blackwell Science 10.1111/j.1365-3156.2010.02561.x

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Objective  Malnutrition is common in HIV-infected children in Africa and an indication for antiretroviral treatment (ART). We examined anthropometric status and response to ART in children treated at a large public-sector clinic in Malawi. Methods  All children aged <15 years who started ART between January 2001 and December 2006 were included and followed until March 2008. Weight and height were measured at regular intervals from 1 year before to 2 years after the start of ART. Sex- and age-standardized z-scores were calculated for weight-for-age (WAZ) and height-for-age (HAZ). Predictors of growth were identified in multivariable mixed-effect models. Results  A total of 497 children started ART and were followed for 972 person-years. Median age (interquartile range; IQR) was 8 years (4–11 years). Most children were underweight (52% of children), stunted (69%), in advanced clinical stages (94% in WHO stages 3 or 4) and had severe immunodeficiency (77%). After starting ART, median (IQR) WAZ and HAZ increased from −2.1 (−2.7 to −1.3) and −2.6 (−3.6 to −1.8) to −1.4 (−2.1 to −0.8) and −1.8 (−2.4 to −1.1) at 24 months, respectively (P < 0.001). In multivariable models, baseline WAZ and HAZ scores were the most important determinants of growth trajectories on ART. Conclusions  Despite a sustained growth response to ART among children remaining on therapy, normal values were not reached. Interventions leading to earlier HIV diagnosis and initiation of treatment could improve growth response.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine

UniBE Contributor:

Brinkhof, Martin; Gsponer, Thomas; Egger, Matthias and Keiser, Olivia




Blackwell Science




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:09

Last Modified:

11 Sep 2017 18:41

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URI: (FactScience: 201698)

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