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

Derek James Sloan*, H. C. Mwandumba, M. Kamdolozi, D. Shani, B. Chisale, J. Dutton, S. H. Khoo, T. J. Allain, G. R. Davies

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


SETTING: 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 antituberculosis treatment.

OBJECTIVES : 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.

DESIGN: A prospective longitudinal cohort study.

RESULTS : 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.

CONCLUSIONS : 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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)904-911
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2015


  • HIV
  • Antiretroviral therapy
  • Relapse
  • Seasonality
  • Treatment failure


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