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01.12.2018 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

BMC Pulmonary Medicine 1/2018

Higher serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations are associated with active pulmonary tuberculosis in hospitalised HIV infected patients in a low income tropical setting: a cross sectional study

BMC Pulmonary Medicine > Ausgabe 1/2018
Cuthbert Musarurwa, Lynn Sodai Zijenah, Doreen Zvipo Mhandire, Tsitsi Bandason, Kudakwashe Mhandire, Maria Mary Chipiti, Marshall Wesley Munjoma, Witmore Bayayi Mujaji



The inherent risk of developing tuberculosis (TB) in HIV- infected individuals is further enhanced by hypovitaminosis D. Interventions that offset HIV-associated immune deterioration potentially arrest disease progression and incidence of opportunistic infections including TB. Despite conflicting reports on association between vitamin D deficiency (VDD) and risk of TB, vitamin D (VD) supplementation remains a promising intervention.


We conducted a comparative cross-sectional study on 145 HIV+/pulmonary TB+ (PTB) and 139 HIV+/PTB hospitalised patients to investigate association of vitamin D status and risk of PTB. Stratified random sampling was used to select archived serum specimens from participants enrolled in a randomised controlled trial (RCT) conducted to investigate the impact of using a point-of-care urine lipoarabinomannan strip test for TB diagnosis. PTB status was confirmed using sputum smear microscopy, culture or GeneXpert MTB/RIF. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH) D] concentrations were assayed by competitive chemiluminescent immunoassay prior to commencement of anti-TB treatment. Effect of VD status on duration of hospital stay and patient outcomes on follow up at 8 weeks were also investigated. Median serum 25(OH) D concentrations were compared using Mann-Whitney test and covariates of serum VD status were assessed using logistic regression analysis.


Overall VDD prevalence in the cohort was 40.9% (95% CI: 35.1–46.8). Median serum 25(OH)D concentrations were significantly higher in HIV+/PTB+ group (25.3 ng/ml, IQR:18.0–33.7) compared to the HIV+/PTB group (20.4 ng/ml, IQR:14.6–26.9), p = 0.0003. Patients with serum 25(OH) D concentration ≥ 30 ng/ml were 1.9 times more likely to be PTB+ compared to those with serum 25(OH) D concentrations < 30 ng/ml (odds ratio (OR) 1.91; 95% CI 1.1–3.2). PTB-related death was associated with higher odds of having 25(OH) D levels≥30 ng/ml. Age, gender, CD4+ count, combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) status, efavirenz based cART regimen and length of hospital stay were not associated with vitamin D status.


The finding of an association between higher serum 25(OH) D concentrations and active PTB and TB-related mortality among hospitalised HIV-infected patients in the present study is at variance with the commonly reported association of hypovitaminosis and susceptibility to TB. Our findings though, are in concordance with a small pool of reports from other settings.
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