Nutritional status and quality of life in HIV-infected patients

Barbara Fernandes de Carvalho, Sara Policarpo, Ana Catarina Moreira


Introduction: Nutritional status and the progression of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are interlinked; though some studies have looked at the impact nutritional status has on quality of life (QoL) in patients with chronic diseases, few have studied this in HIV-infected individuals.

Objective: To investigate the relationship between nutritional status and QoL in adults with a recent HIV diagnosis.

Methods: Individuals with an HIV diagnosis performed in the fourteen months prior to a medical visit to one of Lisbon’s central hospitals were eligible. Nutritional status was assessed by anthropometry, body composition analysis, and dietary intake. QoL was assessed using the WHOQOLHIV-BREF questionnaire. Sociodemographic and clinical data were also considered.

Results: Fifty-one subjects were eligible for enrolment; the majority were male, Caucasian, employed, single, and under highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Lower QoL scores were observed in subjects with inadequate energy intakes, reported weight loss, and a high waist circumference in bivariate analysis (p < 0.05); the same variables influenced QoL negatively after adjusting for confounders in multivariate analysis (p < 0.05). Various sociodemographic characteristics such as level of education, age, gender, and current health problems also predicted QoL significantly (p < 0.05).

Conclusion: Various aspects of nutritional status were responsible for the variations observed in QoL, suggesting a potential for nutritional intervention in improving QoL in this population.

Palabras clave

HIV. Nutritional status. Quality of life.

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