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Vitamin D deficiency in the in-patient HIV population: cause or affect?


Vitamin D has a role in bone metabolism, immunity and possibly in the prevention of some cancers. There have been varying reports of vitamin D deficiency in the HIV population, as well as the possibility of deficiency being caused by the HIV virus or HAART. Vitamin D deficiency may also have an affect on the progression of HIV.


25 (OH) Vitamin D levels were taken between 8 am and 10 am on all the HIV-positive patients admitted over a 2-month period (May & June) to Chelsea & Westminster Hospital.

Summary of results

74 patients (17 women, 57 men) had their 25(OH)VitD levels measured. Vitamin D deficiency is defined as <15 nmol/L, insufficiency as 15–50 nmol/L and normal >50 nmol/L. Sixteen (21.6%) patients were deficient, 33 (44.6%) insufficient and 25 (33.7%) were normal. Vitamin D deficient patients, mean CD4 cell count 237, median 179.5; Vitamin D insufficient patients, mean CD4 cell count 368, median 289; and patients with normal Vitamin D levels had a mean CD4 cell count of 348, median 340. Of the Vitamin D deficient patients, two (12.5%) were not on HAART, 13 (81.2%) were on NRTI's, eight (50%) were on NNRTI's, seven (43.7%) were on PI's, and one (6.2%) was on raltegravir. Of the insufficient patients, 12 (36.3%) were not on HAART, 19 (57.5%) were on NRTI's, seven (21.2%) on NNRTI's, 13(39.3%) on PI's, and two (6%) on raltegravir. The normal Vitamin D group had 10 (40%) patients not on HAART, 14 (56%) on NRTI's, 6 (24%) were on NNRTI'S, nine (36%) were on PI's, and none were on raltegravir.


A significant number, 49 (66.2%), of our patients had either vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency. There also appears to be lower CD4 counts in the Vitamin D deficient group of patients. Whether specific antiretrovirals contribute to Vitamin D deficiency can not be confirmed from these figures, however, further investigation into the relationship between HIV, HAART and Vitamin D needs to be undertaken.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Ancock, B., Bower, M., Gazzard, B. et al. Vitamin D deficiency in the in-patient HIV population: cause or affect?. JIAS 11 (Suppl 1), P116 (2008).

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