Vitamin D and Bone Mineral Density in HIV Newly Diagnosed Therapy-Naive Patients Without Any Secondary Causes of Osteoporosis

Calcif Tissue Int. 2019 Jan;104(1):42-49. doi: 10.1007/s00223-018-0474-5. Epub 2018 Sep 12.


Bone loss and vitamin D deficiency are common in HIV patients. However, bone health status in newly diagnosed HIV patients has not been thoroughly described. Our aim was to assess the bone mineral density (BMD), bone resorption and vitamin D status in newly diagnosed HIV patients. A prospective observational study in HIV newly diagnosed therapy-naive persons. Patients with secondary causes of osteoporosis were excluded. Bone densitometry (DXA), a bone resorption marker (CTx), 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD), CD4 count and HIV viral load (VL) were done in 70 patients. Vitamin D results were compared with a group of healthy volunteers. All patients were men, mean age 31 years (19-50). Low BMD (Z score ≤ 2.0) was found in 13%, all of them in lumbar spine, and in only one patient also in femoral neck. Bone resorption was high in 16%. One out of four participants had low BMD or high bone resorption. Vitamin D deficiency (25OHD < 20 ng/mL) was found in 66%. Mean 25OHD in patients was significantly lower than in healthy volunteers (p = 0.04). No associations were found between BMD, CTx, 25OHD and VL or CD4 count. We hypothesize that HIV infection negatively affects bone health based on the results we found among newly diagnosed, therapy-naive, HIV-infected patients, without any known secondary causes of osteoporosis. Low BMD or high bone resorption, are significantly prevalent in these patients. HIV-infected patients had a higher prevalence of vitamin D deficiency than controls, which was not correlated with CD4 count or VL.

Keywords: 25OHD; Bone density; Bone mineral density; HIV/AIDS; Vitamin D.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bone Density / physiology*
  • Bone Resorption / metabolism
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / complications*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoporosis / complications
  • Osteoporosis / etiology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Vitamin D / analogs & derivatives
  • Vitamin D / metabolism*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / complications
  • Young Adult


  • Vitamin D
  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D
  • Calcium