Author(s): Van Den BoutVan Den Beukel CJ, Fievez L, Michels M, Sweep FC, Hermus AR
Vitamin D regulates bone metabolism but has also immunoregulatory properties. In HIV-infected patients bone disorders are increasingly observed. Furthermore, low 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) levels have been associated with low CD4(+) counts, immunological hyperactivity, and AIDS progression rates. Few studies have examined the vitamin D status in HIV-infected patients. This study will specifically focus on the effects of antiretroviral agents on vitamin D status. Furthermore, the effect of vitamin D status on CD4 cell recovery after initiation of HAART will be evaluated. Among 252 included patients the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency (<35 nmol/liter from April to September and <25 nmol/liter from October to March) was 29%. Female sex, younger age, dark skin, and NNRTI treatment were significant risk factors in univariate analysis, although in multivariate analyses skin pigmentation remained the only independent risk factor. Median 25(OH)D(3) levels were significantly lower in white NNRTI-treated patients [54.5(27.9-73.8) nmol/liter] compared to white PI-treated patients [77.3 (46.6-100.0) nmol/liter, p = 0.007], while among nonwhites no difference was observed. Both PI- and NNRTI-treated patients had significantly higher blood PTH levels than patients without treatment. Moreover, NNRTI treatment puts patients at risk of elevated PTH levels (>6.5 pmol/liter). Linear regression analysis showed that vitamin D status did not affect CD4 cell recovery after initiation of HAART. In conclusion, 29% of the HIV-1-infected patients had vitamin D deficiency, with skin color as an independent risk factor. NNRTI treatment may add more risk for vitamin D deficiency. Both PI- and NNRTI-treated patients showed higher PTH levels and might therefore be at risk of bone problems. Evaluation of 25(OH)D(3) and PTH levels, especially in NNRTI-treated and dark skinned HIV-1-infected patients, is necessary to detect and treat vitamin D deficiency early.