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J Infect Dis. 2012 Jun;205 Suppl 3:S383-90. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jis205.

Body composition and metabolic changes in HIV-infected patients.

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  • 1Program in Nutritional Metabolism, Neuroendocrine Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, 55 Fruit St., Boston, MA 02114, USA.


As antiretroviral therapy has decreased human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-associated mortality, cardiometabolic abnormalities have become increasingly apparent in HIV-infected individuals. Many patients treated for HIV infection exhibit body composition changes, including peripheral fat atrophy and visceral lipohypertrophy. In addition, HIV-infected individuals demonstrate a higher prevalence of dyslipidemia, insulin resistance and diabetes, and cardiovascular risk, compared with the general population. Although antiretroviral therapy appears to contribute to some of the cardiometabolic abnormalities in HIV infection, HIV itself, immunologic factors, and lifestyle factors are also important mediators of cardiovascular risk. Treatment strategies for body composition changes and cardiometabolic abnormalities in HIV infection include lifestyle modification, lipid-lowering agents, insulin sensitizers, and treatments to reverse endocrine abnormalities in HIV, including growth hormone-releasing hormone. None of these strategies has comprehensively addressed the abnormalities experienced by this population, however, and further research is needed into combined strategies to improve body composition and ameliorate cardiovascular risk.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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