Research: BAUM and colleagues, Depa

Listed in Issue 31


BAUM and colleagues, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Miami, School of Medicine, Florida 33136 USA studied the independent contribution of immune and nutritional factors upon survival in HIV.



The authors looked at CD4 cell count, anti-retroviral treatment, blood plasma levels of vitamins A, E, B6, B12 and minerals selenium and zinc in relation to relative risk for HIV-related mortality . Immune and nutritional parameters were evaluated at 6 month intervals in 125 HIV-positive drug-using men and women in Miami Florida over a period of 3.5 years.


21 HIV-positive people participants died of HIV-related causes during the study. The following nutritional parameters, but not zidovudine treatment, were each shown to be associated with HIV-related mortality, independent of CD4 cell counts <200/mm3 at baseline and over time as follows: subclinical malnutrition, relative risk (RR) = 4.01 vitamin A deficiency RR = 3.23 vitamin B12 deficiency RR = 8.33 zinc deficiency RR = 2.29 selenium deficiency RR = 19.19. When all factors affecting survival, including CD4 counts at baseline and over time and nutritional deficiencies were jointly considered, only CD4 counts over time (RR = 0.69) and selenium deficiency (RR = 10.8) were significantly associated with mortality.


: These results demonstrate that selenium deficiency is an independent predictor of survival for those infected with HIV .


Baum MK et al. High risk of HIV-related mortality is associated with selenium deficiency. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr Hum Retrovirol 15(5): 370-4. Aug 15 1997.

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