A longitudinal study of the changes in body fat and metabolic parameters in a South African population of HIV-positive patients receiving an antiretroviral therapeutic regimen containing stavudine.

George JA, Venter WD, Van Deventer HE, Crowther NJ.

AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2009 Aug;25(8):771-81. doi: 10.1089/aid.2008.0308.

The aim of this study was to determine the patterns of change in body fat and metabolic parameters in a South African cohort on a first line ART regimen containing stavudine. Fasting lipogram, blood glucose and insulin levels, CD4 cell count, viral load, BMI, waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), and skinfold thickness at the triceps, scapula, and iliac crest were measured before starting ART in 42 (27 female) subjects. Repeat measurements were performed at four monthly intervals for 2 years. Lipodystrophy was diagnosed using patient perception and assessment by a physician. At baseline, subjects who went on to develop lipodystrophy (LD group) were fatter and had higher skinfold thickness at all three sites and higher insulin levels than subjects who never developed lipodystrophy (NLD group). The WHR increased to a greater extent while hip circumference and tricep skinfolds fell more significantly in the LD than NLD group. Triglyceride and cholesterol levels increased significantly in both groups while lactate and glucose levels increased more and insulin levels increased less in the LD than the NLD group. Neither viral load nor CD4 count differed between the groups during the study. Viral load correlated positively with insulin levels at baseline. Thus, lipodystrophy in the South African population is characterized by a higher BMI before initiation of ART and lipoatrophy of the arms and hips, lipohypertrophy of the waist, and increased lactate production. When compared to the NLD group, the LD subjects display attenuated insulin secretory output in response to a higher weight gain.

PMID: 19619010

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.