The aim of this study was to describe growth during puberty in young people with vertically acquired HIV.
One thousand and ninety-four children initiating a nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor or boosted protease inhibitor based regimen aged 1–10 years were included. Super Imposition by Translation And Rotation (SITAR) models described growth from age 8 years using three parameters (average height, timing and shape of the growth spurt), dependent on age and height-for-age z-score (HAZ) (WHO references) at antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation. Multivariate regression explored characteristics associated with these three parameters.
At ART initiation, median age and HAZ was 6.4 [interquartile range (IQR): 2.8, 9.0] years and −1.2 (IQR: −2.3 to −0.2), respectively. Median follow-up was 9.1 (IQR: 6.9, 11.4) years. In girls, older age and lower HAZ at ART initiation were independently associated with a growth spurt which occurred 0.41 (95% confidence interval 0.20–0.62) years later in children starting ART age 6 to 10 years compared with 1 to 2 years and 1.50 (1.21–1.78) years later in those starting with HAZ less than −3 compared with HAZ at least −1. Later growth spurts in girls resulted in continued height growth into later adolescence. In boys starting ART with HAZ less than −1, growth spurts were later in children starting ART in the oldest age group, but for HAZ at least −1, there was no association with age. Girls and boys who initiated ART with HAZ at least −1 maintained a similar height to the WHO reference mean.