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Metab Syndr Relat Disord. 2009 Oct;7(5):401-10. doi: 10.1089/met.2008.0096.

Human immunodeficiency virus and highly active antiretroviral therapy-associated metabolic disorders and risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

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Department of Medicine, University of California Davis, Sacramento, California 95817, USA.


The successful introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), a combination of potent antiretroviral agents, including protease inhibitors, nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, and nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, has impacted positively on morbidity and mortality among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive patients. Over time, HAART has been associated with a number of metabolic and anthropometric abnormalities, including dyslipidemia and insulin resistance as well as subcutaneous fat loss and abdominal obesity, potentially contributing to cardiovascular risk. Recent studies have more firmly established that both HIV infection and HAART might increase the risk of clinical cardiovascular events. Furthermore, whereas HIV/HAART is associated with multiple aspects of endocrine dysfunction, there has been less focus on bone disease, although some studies indicate a higher prevalence of osteoporosis among HIV-positive subjects compared to HIV-negative controls. The relationship between bone and fat metabolism under HIV-positive conditions deserves further attention, and available data suggest the possibility of an intriguing connection. In the future, an increasing population of aging HIV-positive patients with a spectrum of antiretroviral therapies and accumulation of endocrine abnormalities and conventional cardiovascular risk factors will present preventive and therapeutic challenges to our health-care system.

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