A study of malnutrition in Iranian patients with primary antibody deficiency
Nutrition is an important factor that influences immunity, and nutritional deficiencies can impair resistance to infections. Malnutrition is the most common cause of immunodeficiency worldwide. Trace elements such as zinc, selenium, iron, and copper can influence several components of immunity. Primary antibody deficiency disorders are a group of disorders characterized by an unusual susceptibility to infections and malnutrition. Impaired nutritional status has been reported in immunodeficient patients. The aim of this study was to determine anthropometric indices and trace elements status in these patients. Thirty-eight children (28 males, 10 females, aged 2-18 years) with primary antibody deficiency referring to Children’s Medical Center of Tehran University of Medical Science were enrolled in this research. Primary immunodeficiency disorders consisting of CVID, XLA, IgA deficiency, IgG subclass deficiency, and hyper IgM were assessed. Anthropometric indices, comprised of height, weight that were measured and body mass index (BMI) was calculated. Height-for-age (HAZ), weight-for-height (WHZ) and weight-for-age (WAZ) were determined according to Z-score to study mild, moderate and severe malnutrition. Serum copper, zinc, selenium and iron levels were measured by an atomic absorption spectrometer. The most common disorders were CVID 52.5% and X-linked agammaglobulinaemia 27.5%. Based on BMI measurements 21.1% of patients had malnutrition. According to HAZ, 13.2%, 13.2% and 36.8% had severe, moderate and mild malnutrition, respectively. According to WAZ, 10.5%, 18.4% and 28.6% had severe, moderate and mild malnutrition, respectively. Regarding to WHZ, 14.3% and 28.6% had moderate and mild malnutrition, respectively. Low selenium levels and high copper levels were observed in 37.5% and 70.3%, respectively. Anthropometric data showed that the frequency of malnutrition in these patients was higher than the CDC standard. Low serum selenium levels and high serum copper levels were observed, suggesting further research is needed on these parameters. Most of the patients had serum zinc and iron levels within the normal range. It is recommeded that clinical immunologists and nutritionists should make a collective effort to provide these patients with standard or specialized diets so as to decrease the risk of infection.