Iron supplementation in HIV-infected Malawian children with anemia: a double-blind, randomized, controlled trial

Global Child Health GroupûAIGHD, Emma Children's Hospital/Academic Medical Center ; Department of Infectious Diseases, Tropical Medicine, and AIDS, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands ; Community Health Department, College of Medicine, University of Malawi, Blantyre, Malawi; Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom

Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2013;57((11):):1626-34.
Background.It is unknown whether iron supplementation in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected children living in regions with high infection pressure is safe or beneficial. A 2-arm, double-blind, randomized, controlled trial was conducted to examine the effects of iron supplementation on hemoglobin, HIV disease progression, and morbidity. Methods.HIV-infected Malawian children aged 6-59 months with moderate anemia (hemoglobin level, 7.0-9.9 g/dL) were randomly assigned to receive 3 mg/kg/day of elemental iron and multivitamins (vitamins A, C, and D) or multivitamins alone for 3 months. Participants were followed for 6 months. Results.A total of 209 children were randomly assigned to treatment, and 196 (93.8%) completed 6 months of follow-up. Iron supplementation was associated with greater increases in hemoglobin concentrations (adjusted mean difference [aMD], 0.60; 95% confidence interval [CI], .06-1.13; P = .03) and reduced the risk of anemia persisting for up to 6 months follow-up (adjusted prevalence ratio, 0.59; 95% CI, .38-.92; P = .02). Children who received iron had a better CD4 percentage response at 3 months (aMD, 6.00; 95% CI, 1.84-10.16; P = .005) but an increased incidence of malaria at 6 months (incidence rate, 120.2 vs 71.7; adjusted incidence rate ratio [aIRR], 1.81 [95% CI, 1.04-3.16]; P = .04), especially during the first 3 months (incidence rate, 78.1 vs 36.0; aIRR, 2.68 [95% CI, 1.08-6.63]; P = .03). Conclusions.Iron supplementation in anemic HIV-infected children has beneficial effects on hemoglobin, anemia, and immunity but increases the risk of malaria. Thus, iron supplementation in HIV-infected children living in malaria-endemic areas should only be provided in combination with adequate protection from malaria. Clinical Trials Registration.ISRCTN-62947977.
Study details
Language : English
Credits : Bibliographic data from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine