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Effect of maternal vitamin D supplementation on maternal health, birth outcomes, and infant growth among HIV-infected Tanzanian pregnant women: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial.

Trials; 18(1): 411, 2017 Sep 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28870263


Vitamin D has significant immunomodulatory effects on both adaptive and innate immune responses. Observational studies indicate that adults infected with HIV with low vitamin D status may be at increased risk of mortality, pulmonary tuberculosis, and HIV disease progression. Growing observational evidence also suggests that low vitamin D status in pregnancy may increase the risk of adverse birth and infant health outcomes. As a result, antiretroviral therapy (ART) adjunct vitamin D supplementation may improve the health of HIV-infected pregnant women and their children.


The Trial of Vitamins-5 (ToV5) is an individually randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of maternal vitamin D (cholecalciferol) supplementation conducted among 2300 HIV-infected pregnant women receiving triple-drug ART under Option B+ in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. HIV-infected pregnant women of 12-27 weeks gestation are randomized to either: 1) 3000 IU vitamin D taken daily from randomization in pregnancy until trial discharge at 12 months postpartum; or 2) a matching placebo regimen. Maternal participants are followed-up at monthly clinic visits during pregnancy, at delivery, and then with their children at monthly postpartum clinic visits. The primary efficacy outcomes of the trial are: 1) maternal HIV disease progression or death; 2) risk of small-for-gestational age (SGA) births; and 3) risk of infant stunting at 1 year of age. The primary safety outcome of the trial is incident maternal hypercalcemia. Secondary outcomes include a range of clinical and biological maternal and child health outcomes.


The ToV5 will provide causal evidence on the effect of vitamin D supplementation on HIV progression and death, SGA births, and infant stunting at 1 year of age. The results of the trial are likely generalizable to HIV-infected pregnant women and their children in similar resource-limited settings utilizing the Option B+ approach.TRIAL REGISTRATION: identifier: NCT02305927 . Registered on 29 October 2014.