Infant mortality and maternal vitamin a deficiency during human immunodeficiency virus infection

Richard D. Semba, Paolo G. Miotti, John D. Chiphangwi, George Liomba, Li Ping Yang, Alfred J. Saah, Gina A. Dallabetta, Donald R. Hoover

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


The maternal factors that contribute to high mortality among infants born to women infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are unclear. We followed 474 HIV-infected mothers and their infants in Malawi from pregnancy through the infants’ 12th month of life. Of the 474 HIV-infected pregnant women, 300 (63.3%) were deficient in vitamin A (serum level of vitamin A, <1.05 μmol/L). Mean serum vitamin A levels among mothers whose infants died were 0.78 ± 0.03 μmol/L compared with 1.02 ± 0.02 μmol/L among mothers whose infants had survived for the first 12 months of life (P <.0001). The overall infant mortality rate was 28.7%. We divided HIV-positive mothers into six groups according to serum vitamin A levels (μmol/L) as follows: group 1, <0.35; group 2, between 0.35 and 0.70; group 3, between 0.70 and 1.05; group 4, between 1.05 and 1.40 group 5, between 1.40 and 1.75; and group 6, >1.75. Infant mortality rates for each group were 93.3%, 41.6%, 23.4%, 18.5%, 17.7%, and 14.2%, respectively (P <.0001). Maternal vitamin A deficiency during HIV infection may contribute to increased infant mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)966-972
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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