Micronutrient Deficiency and Treatment Adherence in a Randomized Controlled Trial of Micronutrient Supplementation in ART-Naïve Persons with HIV
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INTRODUCTION: The MAINTAIN study is an on-going RCT comparing high-dose micronutrient and anti-oxidant supplementation versus recommended daily allowance (RDA) vitamins in slowing HIV immune deficiency progression in ART-naïve people with HIV infection. OBJECTIVE: We planned analysis of the first 127 participants to determine the baseline prevalence of serum micronutrient deficiencies and correlates, as well as tolerance and adherence to study interventions. METHODS: Participants receive eight capsules twice daily of 1) high-dose or 2) RDA supplements for two years and are followed-up quarterly for measures of immune deficiency progression, safety and tolerability. Regression analysis was used to identify correlates of micronutrient levels at baseline. Adherence was measured by residual pill count, self-report using the General Treatment Scale (GTS) and short-term recall HIV Adherence Treatment Scale (HATS). RESULTS: Prior micronutrient supplementation (within 30 days) was 27% at screening and 10% of study population, and was not correlated with baseline micronutrient levels. Low levels were frequent for carotene (24%<1 nmol/L), vitamin D (24%<40 nmol/L) and serum folate (20%<15 nmol/L). The proportion with B12 deficiency (<133 pmol/L) was 2.4%. Lower baseline levels of B12 correlated lower baseline CD4 count (r = 0.21, p = 0.02) with a 21 pmol/L reduction in B12 per 100 cells/µL CD4. Vitamin D levels were higher in men (p<0.001). After a median follow-up of 1.63 years, there were 19 (15%) early withdrawals from the study treatment. Mean treatment adherence using pill count was 88%. Subjective adherence by the GTS was 81% and was moderately but significantly correlated with pill count (r = 0.29, p<0.001). Adherence based on short-term recall (HATS) was >80% in 75% of participants. CONCLUSION: Micronutrient levels in asymptomatic HIV+ persons are in keeping with population norms, but micronutrient deficiencies are frequent. Adherence levels are high, and will permit a valid evaluation of treatment effects. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00798772.
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