Plasma folate studies in HIV-positive patients at the Lagos university teaching hospital, Nigeria

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Akanmu, AS
Osunkalu, VO
Adediran, A
Adeyemo, TA
Onogu, E
Akinde, Ralph
Coker, HAB
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Indian Journal of Sexually Transmitted Diseases and AIDS
Introduction: In various studies globally, the prevalence of anemia in persons with HIV infection range from 10 to 20% at initial presentation, and anemia is diagnosed in 70 to 80% of these patients over the course of HIV disease. The etiology of anemia in this group of patients has not been fully established, thus a need to evaluate the role of plasma folate as a possible etiological factor. Objective: This study was set to determine plasma folate levels in newly diagnosed, treatment naïve, HIV-positive patients, and relate this to other hematological changes. Materials and Methods: A total of 200 participants were recruited for this study, of which 100 were HIV positive, treatment naive patients who were recruited at the point of registration and 100 were HIV-negative subjects (controls). 5 ml of venous blood was collected and plasma extracted for folic acid estimation by HPLC. A full blood count, CD4 and Viral load were estimated. Results: Mean ages for control and study group were 38 ± 2.3 and 32 ± 1.7 years, respectively. Mean plasma folate concentration among the study group (5.04 μg/l) was significantly lower than that for the control group (15.89 μg/l; P = 0.0002). Prevalence of anemia among the study group was 72% (144 of 200), with a mean hemoglobin (Hb) concentration of 9.5 g/dl compared with mean Hb of 13.0 g/dl among the control group (P = 0.002). Plasma folate correlated positively with CD4 cell count (r = 0.304, P<0.05) and inversely with the viral load (r = -0.566; P<0.05). Conclusion: Plasma folate level is a predictor of anemia in early HIV infections
Anemia , folate , Hiv infection
Alani A, Vincent O, Adewumi A, Titilope A, Onogu E, Ralph A, Hab C. Plasma folate studies in HIV-positive patients at the Lagos university teaching hospital, Nigeria. Indian J Sex Transm Dis 2010;31:99-103.