The international journal of tuberculosis and lung disease : the official journal of the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease

Vitamin D deficiency in Malawian adults with pulmonary tuberculosis: risk factors and treatment outcomes.

PMID 26162355


Vitamin D deficiency is common in African adults with tuberculosis (TB), and may be exacerbated by the metabolic effects of anti-tuberculosis drugs and antiretroviral therapy (ART). It is unclear whether vitamin D deficiency influences response to anti-tuberculosis treatment. To describe risk factors for baseline vitamin D deficiency in Malawian adults with pulmonary TB, assess the relationship between serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25[OH]D) concentration and treatment response, and evaluate whether the administration of anti-tuberculosis drugs and ART is deleterious to vitamin D status during treatment. A prospective longitudinal cohort study. The median baseline 25(OH)D concentration of the 169 patients (58% human immunodeficiency virus [HIV] infected) recruited was 57 nmol/l; 47 (28%) had vitamin D deficiency (<50 nmol/l). Baseline 25(OH)D concentrations were lower during the cold season (P < 0.001), with food insecurity (P = 0.034) or in patients who consumed alcohol (P = 0.019). No relationship between vitamin D status and anti-tuberculosis treatment response was found. 25(OH)D concentrations increased during anti-tuberculosis treatment, irrespective of HIV status or use of ART. Vitamin D deficiency is common among TB patients in Malawi, but this does not influence treatment response. Adverse metabolic effects of drug treatment may be compensated by the positive impact of clinical recovery preventing exacerbation of vitamin D deficiency during anti-tuberculosis treatment.