Impact of HIV/AIDS on mortality and nutritional recovery among hospitalized severely malnourished children before starting antiretroviral treatment


In low income countries, severe acute malnutrition remains a major problem for HIV-infected children and an important risk factor for mortality. This study aims to analyze HIV impact on mortality rate and nutritional recovery among severely malnourished HIV/AIDS uninfected and infected children. This was a retrospective cohort study conducted from data of 521 hospitalized severely malnourished children. We used Pearson’s Chi square test to compare proportions; and Student’s independent t-test to compare means; general linear model to analyze repeated measurements. We used mortality relative risk with confidence interval (CI 95%), Kaplan-Meir survival curves and Cox proportional hazard models to analyze the HIV impact on mortality rate. Case fatality rate differed significantly from SAM HIV uninfected (10.7%) and HIV infected children (39.7%), p < 0.001. Mortality relative risk was 3.71, 95% IC [2.51 - 5.47] for HIV infected children. Kaplan-Meir survival curves differed significantly between the two groups, (p Log Rank < 0.001). Cox regression adjusted mortality relative risk of HIV infected children was 4.27, CI: 2.55 - 7.15, p < 0.001. Mean weight gain differed significantly among infected children, p < 0.001. Anthropometric Z-scores means evolution differed significantly between HIV infected and uninfected children and within each group’s subjects for WHZ (p < 0.001) and WAZ (p < 0.001). Mortality relative risk was 3.71 times higher for HIV infected children. Multiples infections and metabolic complications have synergism on death occurrence in sever acute malnutrition; when associated to HIV infection, case fatality rate increases many times. Weight gain and anthropometrics index evolution were very slow for SAM HIV infected children, and specific diet may be needed for more nutritional recovery. Effective interventions, updated and adapting to local country context, to improve survival of severely malnourished HIV/AIDS infected children in HIV and SAM prevalent settings are urgently needed in the area of SAM’s community-based treatment approach.

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Savadogo, L. , Donnen, P. , Kouéta, F. , Kafando, E. , Hennart, P. and Dramaix, M. (2013) Impact of HIV/AIDS on mortality and nutritional recovery among hospitalized severely malnourished children before starting antiretroviral treatment. Open Journal of Pediatrics, 3, 340-345. doi: 10.4236/ojped.2013.34061.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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