BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Gains in fat mass and lean mass during tuberculosis (TB) treatment may determine functional recovery and survival; yet, data are scarce. We aimed to assess predictors of fat and fat-free mass during 2 months of intensive TB treatment in a cohort in Mwanza, Tanzania.
SUBJECTS/METHODS: Fat and fat-free mass were determined at the start of TB treatment and repeated after 2 months using the deuterium dilution technique. Gains in fat and fat-free mass were determined and predictors assessed using regression analysis.
RESULTS: Data for 116 patients were available at baseline and during follow-up. Of these, 38.8% were females, mean age was 37.3 (s.d. 13.5) years, 69% (81) had sputum-positive TB, 45.7% (53) were HIV infected and 25% (29) were current smokers. The mean weight gain was 3.3 kg (95% confidence interval: 2.7; 3.8), and it did not differ by sex. However, compared with females, males had 1.0 (0.4; 1.6) kg/m(2) lower fat mass but 0.7 (0.2; 1.3) kg/m(2) higher fat-free mass gain. Current smoking was associated with higher fat mass (0.7 kg/m(2), 0.04; 1.4) but lower fat-free mass (-0.5 kg/m(2), -1.2; 0.07) gain. Among HIV-infected patients, antiretroviral therapy (ART) led to a lower fat gain (-1.2 kg/m(2), -2.2; -0.2) but to a higher fat-free mass among sputum-negative (2.9 kg/m(2), 0.8; 5.1) but not sputum-positive patients.
CONCLUSIONS: During intensive phase of TB treatment, sex, smoking and ART were predictors of body composition. Larger studies are needed to further understand predictors of body composition during recovery, to help design interventions to improve treatment outcomes.European Journal of Clinical Nutrition advance online publication, 1 April 2015; doi:10.1038/ejcn.2015.37.