Researchers have found that vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased risk of death among patients with HIV.
Vitamin D deficiency is common among people with HIV, and previous research has shown several relationships between vitamin D and HIV. For example, past research has suggested that getting enough vitamin D may help boost response to HIV treatment.
However, few studies have looked at vitamin D as a marker of mortality in those with HIV.
So researchers led by Dr. Leah Shepard of the University College London Medical School looked at 250 AIDS patients within the EuroSIDA cohort. EuroSIDA is a prospective observational cohort study of more than 9,700 patients followed in 72 hospitals in 26 European Countries. This was a case control study, so they matched these AIDS patients with 250 healthy controls also from the EuroSIDA cohort.
In this cohort, people got blood tests often. For these particular patients in this case-control study, the patients were followed for a median 44.6 months. They wanted to know if vitamin D was associated with risk of death.
What they found is that for every twofold increase in the latest vitamin D level drawn, there was a 46% reduced risk of dying. The median time between last blood draw and event of death was 3.1 months.
The researchers concluded, “Low vitamin D predicts short term mortality in HIV-positive persons.”
They recommended further study looking if vitamin D supplementation could help in HIV patients and reduce their mortality risk.