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Prevalence and risk factors of undernutrition among antiretroviral-therapy-naïve subjects aged under 5 years old in Makurdi, Nigeria: a retrospective study

Authors Anigilaje EA, Olutola A

Received 6 September 2014

Accepted for publication 5 November 2014

Published 31 March 2015 Volume 2015:8 Pages 131—141


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Emmanuel Ademola Anigilaje,1 Ayodotun Olutola2

1Department of Paediatrics, Benue State University, Makurdi, 2Center for Clinical Care and Clinical Research, Abuja, Nigeria

Background: Undernutrition is common in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and it contributes significantly to its morbidity and mortality. However, as far as we are aware, few studies have described the risk factors of undernutrition among HIV-infected Nigerian children. The study reported here aimed to determine the prevalence and risk factors of undernutrition among HIV-infected, antiretroviral therapy (ART)-naïve children aged under 5 years old in Makurdi, Nigeria.
Methods: A retrospective, cross-sectional study was undertaken at the Federal Medical Centre, Makurdi, between June 2010 and June 2011. Logistic regression modelling was used to determine the risk factors of undernutrition.
Results: Data on 182 HIV-infected children (88 males and 94 females), aged between 6 weeks and 59 months were studied. The prevalence of undernutrition was 12.1%, 33.5%, and 54.4% for underweight, wasting, and stunting, respectively. In multivariate regression analyses, being female (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 0.292, 95% [confidence interval] CI 0.104–0.820, P=0.019), the child's caregiver being on ART (AOR 0.190, 95% CI 0.039–0.925, P=0.04), and the absence of tuberculosis in the child (AOR 0.034, 95% CI 0.003–0.357, P=0.005) were independently protective against underweight. Subjects who were exclusively breastfed in the first 6 months of life were protected from stunting (AOR 0.136, 95% CI 0.032–0.585, P=0.007). No factor impacted significantly on wasting in multivariate analyses.
Conclusion: Undernutrition among HIV-infected, ART-naïve children aged under 5 years old may be reduced if programmatic interventions are guided toward early initiation of ART among eligible HIV-infected caregivers and the promotion of HIV/tuberculosis coinfection control efforts. Also, the importance of exclusive breastfeeding in reducing undernutrition cannot be overemphasized. 
Keywords: HIV infection, ART, HIV/tuberculosis coinfection, stunting, breastfeeding, mother-to-child transmission

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