Changes in body mass index and hemoglobin concentration in breastfeeding women living with HIV with a CD4 count over 350: Results from 4 African countries (The ANRS 12174 trial)

Eric Somé, Ingunn Engebretsen, Nicolas Nagot, Nicolas Meda, Roselyne Vallo, Chipepo Kankasa, James Tumwine, Mandisa Singata, Justus Hofmeyr, Philippe Van de Perre, Thorkild Tylleskär, Valerie Marechal, Dorine Neveu, Vincent Foulongne, Michael Segondy, Roxanne Schaub, Stephane Blanche, Jean-Marc Treluyer, Deborah Hirt, Charles KaramagiPhilippa Musoke, Grace Ndeezi, Proscovia Mugaba, Mary Kwagala, Joan Murungi, Hawa Muweesi, Evelyn Ninsiima, Simon Baryeija, Rasmata Ouedraogo, Diarra Ye, Hugues Traore, Christelle Nadembega, Justin Konate, Arsène Zongo, Abass Ouedraogo, Desire Neboua, Aissatou Belemvire, Armel Bambara, Justine Boncoungou, Danielle Zoungrana, Cheryl Nikodem, Kim Harper, Debra Jackson, David Sanders, Amwe Sunday, Collins Okegbe-Eze, Xoliswa Willilams, Nolundi Mshweshwe, Vatiswa Henge, Fikiswa Gomba, Lada Nikodem, Oswell Khondowe, Mwiya Mwiya, Mildreed Lusaka, Mary Chizyuka, Mary Phiri, Billies Imakando, Mwenechanya Musaku, Monica Kapasa, David Rutagwera, Ngondwe Clement, Hilton Mwaba, Japhet Matoba, Chafye Siumita, Katai Chola, Patricia Mwamutanda

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    Introduction Breastfeeding is recommended for infants born to HIV-infected women in low-income settings. Both breastfeeding and HIV-infection are energy demanding. Our objective was to explore how exclusive and predominant breastfeeding changes body mass index (BMI) among breastfeeding HIV1-positive women participating in the ANRS12174 trial (clinical trial no NCT0064026). Methods HIV-positive women (n = 1 267) with CD4 count >350, intending to breastfeed HIV-negative infants were enrolled from Burkina Faso, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia and counselled on breastfeeding. N = 1 216 were included in the analysis. The trial compared Lamivudine and Lopinavir/Ritonavir as a peri-exposure prophylaxis. We ran a linear mixed-effect model with BMI as the dependent variable and exclusive or predominant breastfeeding duration as the key explanatory variable. Results Any breastfeeding or exclusive/predominant) breastfeeding was initiated by 99.6% and 98.6% of the mothers respectively in the first week after birth. The median (interquartile range: IQR) duration of the group that did any breastfeeding or the group that did exclusive/predominant breastfeeding were 9.5 (7.5; 10.6) and 5.8 (5.6; 5.9)) months, respectively. The median (IQR) age, BMI, CD4 count, and HIV viral load at baseline (day 7) were 27 (23.3; 31) years, 23.7 (21.3; 27.0) kg/m2, 530 (432.5; 668.5) cells/μl and 0.1 (0.8; 13.7)1000 copies/mL, respectively. No major change in mean BMI was seen in this cohort over a 50-week period during lactation. The mean change between 26 and 50 weeks after birth was 0.7 kg/m2. Baseline mean BMI (measured on day 7 postpartum) and CD4 count were positively associated with maternal BMI change, with a mean increase of 1.0 kg/m2 (0.9; 1.0) per each additional baseline-BMI kilogram and 0.3 kg/m2 (0.2; 0.5) for each additional CD4 cell/μl, respectively. Conclusion Breastfeeding was not negatively correlated with the BMI of HIV-1 infected Sub-Saharan African mothers. However, a higher baseline BMI and a CD4 count >500 cells/μl were associated with maternal BMI during the exclusive/predominant breastfeeding period. Considering the benefits of breast milk for the infants and the recurrent results from different studies that breastfeeding is not harmful to the HIV-1-infected mothers, this study also supports the WHO 2016 guidelines on infant feeding that mothers living with HIV should breastfeed where formula is not safe for at least 12 months and up to 24 months, given that the right treatment or prophylaxis for the infection is administered. These findings and conclusions cannot be extrapolated to women who are immune-compromised or have AIDS.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere0177259
    Pages (from-to)Art: e0177259
    Number of pages16
    JournalPLoS One
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - May 2017


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