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AIDS. 2016 Jan 2;30(1):83-91. doi: 10.1097/QAD.0000000000000893.

The metabolic and cardiovascular consequences of obesity in persons with HIV on long-term antiretroviral therapy.

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aDivision of Infectious DiseasesbDepartment of MedicinecDepartment of BiostatisticsdDepartment of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee, USA.



This study assessed the effect of obesity on metabolic and cardiovascular disease risk factors in HIV-infected adults on antiretroviral therapy with sustained virologic suppression.


Observational, comparative cohort study with three group-matched arms: 35 nonobese and 35 obese HIV-infected persons on efavirenz, tenofovir and emtricitabine with plasma HIV-1 RNA  less than  50  copies/ml for more than 2 years, and 30 obese HIV-uninfected controls. Patients did not have diabetes or known cardiovascular disease.


We compared glucose tolerance, serum lipids, brachial artery flow-mediated dilation, carotid intima-media thickness, and soluble inflammatory and vascular adhesion markers between nonobese and obese HIV-infected patients, and between obese HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected patients, using Wilcoxon rank-sum tests and multivariate linear regression.


The cohort was 52% men and 48% nonwhite. Nonobese and obese HIV-infected patients did not differ by clinical or demographic characteristics. Obese HIV-uninfected controls were younger than obese HIV-infected patients and less likely to smoke (P < 0.03 for both). Among HIV-infected patients, obesity was associated with greater insulin release, lower insulin sensitivity, and higher serum high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor-α receptor 1 levels (P < 0.001), but similar lipid profiles, sCD14, sCD163, intercellular adhesion molecule 1 and vascular cell adhesion molecule 1, and carotid intima-media thickness and flow mediated dilation. In contrast, Obese HIV-infected patients had adverse lipid changes, and greater circulating intercellular adhesion molecule 1, vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 and sCD14, compared with obese HIV-uninfected controls after adjusting for age and other factors.


Obesity impairs glucose metabolism and contributes to circulating high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor-α receptor 1 levels, but has few additive effects on dyslipidemia and endothelial activation, in Obese HIV-infected adults on long-term antiretroviral therapy.

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