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Niacin nutritional status in HIV type 1-positive children: preliminary data.

OBJECTIVE: HIV infection induces a state of pellagra in cell culture models. This study compared the nutritional status and the 24-hour urine excretion of N-methylnicotinamide between HIV-positive children and HIV-negative children who were or were not born of mothers with HIV-1 infection.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Forty patients were included in the study: HIV-positive children (group 1; n = 20), HIV-negative children born to infected mothers (group 2; n = 10), and HIV-negative control children (group 3; n = 10). Usual dietary intake was assessed by a semiquantitative food-frequency questionnaire. Weight and height were assessed and compared with the reference data of the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For the estimation of fat-free mass and total body water, bioelectrical impedance technique was used. N-methylnicotinamide was measured by a modified method of high-performance liquid chromatography.

RESULTS: Groups were matched in relation to age, sex, percentage of malnutrition, anthropometric measures, and body composition. Daily niacin intake did not differ statistically across groups (group 1 = 18.0 +/- 11.4 mg/day; group 2 = 18.9 +/- 8.0 mg/day; group 3 = 14.2 +/- 5.2 mg/day), nor did intake of tryptophan, vitamin B6, and zinc. The values of urinary niacin per gram of creatinine were similar and adequate across the groups (group 1 = 4.68 [0.75-14.9]; group 2 = 3.74 [1.13-5.69]; group 3 = 3.85 [1.80-8.19]).

CONCLUSIONS: HIV-positive children excreted the same amount of N-methylnicotinamide in urine as did the control children. These findings may be attributed to similarities in nutritional status, adequate intestinal absorption (no children experienced diarrhea) and stable clinical condition.

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