Vitamin A deficiency among former and current injecting drug users in Bronx, New York

Barbara L. Greenberg, Richard D. Semba, Ellie E. Schoenbaum, Robert S. Klein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The prevalence of vitamin A deficiency was studied cross-sectionally in 135 HIV-infected and 45 HIV-uninfected high risk former and current injecting drug users (IDUs) in the Bronx, New York. Vitamin A levels were similar by serostatus: 35% (47/135) of HIV-seropositive and 33% (15/45) of HIV- seronegative subjects had serum vitamin A levels consistent with deficiency (< 1.05 μmol/L); 17% HIV-seropositive and 11% HIV-seronegative subjects had severe vitamin A deficiency (<0.70 μmol/L). Among the HIV seropositive subjects women were significantly more likely to be vitamin A deficient (29%, 27/92 of males versus 40%, 17/43 of females, p=0.05). Median serum vitamin A was associated with CD4+ levels previously found to be prognostic of disease progression in this cohort; 0.81 μmol/L versus 1.19 μmol/L for < 150 and ≤ 150 cells/mm3 respectively, p= 0.02. Serum vitamin A levels were significantly associated with hemoglobin levels in HIV- infected individuals only (Mantel Haenszel trend, p=0.05). Further study of vitamin A deficiency and infectious disease morbidity in HIV-infected and uninfected high risk IDUs may be warranted given the high prevalence of vitamin A deficiency among this cohort of IDUs and the association of vitamin A with infectious disease morbidity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)785-796
Number of pages12
JournalNutrition Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1997


  • HIV infection
  • Injecting Drug Use
  • Vitamin A deficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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