Undernutrition among Ethiopian adults living with HIV: a meta-analysis.

Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Publication Type:
Journal Article
BMC nutrition, 2020, 6, (1), pp. 10
Issue Date:
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Malnutrition and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are interlaced in a vicious cycle and worsened in low and middle-income countries. In Ethiopia, even though individuals are dually affected by both malnutrition and HIV, there is no a nationwide study showing the proportion of malnutrition among HIV-positive adults. Consequently, this review addressed the pooled burden of undernutrition among HIV-positive adults in Ethiopia.


We searched for potentially relevant studies through manual and electronic searches. An electronic search was carried out using the database of PubMed, Google Scholar, and Google for gray literature and reference lists of previous studies. A standardized data extraction checklist was used to extract the data from each original study. STATA Version 13 statistical software was used for our analysis. Descriptive summaries were presented in tables, and the quantitative result was presented in a forest plot. Heterogeneity within the included studies was examined using the Cochrane Q test statistics and I 2 test. Finally, a random-effects meta-analysis model was computed to estimate the pooled proportion of undernutrition among HIV-positive adults.


After reviewing 418 studies, 15 studies met the inclusion criteria and were included in the meta-analysis. Findings from 15 studies revealed that the pooled percentage of undernutrition among HIV-positive adults in Ethiopia was 26% (95% CI: 22, 30%). The highest percentage of undernutrition (46.8%) was reported from Jimma University specialized hospital, whereas the lowest proportion of undernutrition (12.3%) was reported from Dilla Hospital. The subgroup analyses of this study also indicated that the percentage of undernourishment among HIV-positive adults is slightly higher in the Northern and Central parts of Ethiopia (27.5%) as compared to the Southern parts of Ethiopia (25%).


This study noted that undernutrition among HIV-positive adults in Ethiopia was quite common. This study also revealed that undernutrition is more common among HIV-positive adults with advanced disease stage, anemia, diarrhea, CD4 count less than 200 cells/mm3, and living in rural areas. Based on our findings, we suggested that all HIV-positive adults should be assessed for nutritional status at the time of ART commencement.
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