BioScience Trends. 2020;14(6):450-456. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2020.03351)

Association of HIV infection with metabolic syndrome among normal or underweight young adults: evidence from the CHART cohort

Shi RZ, Chen XX, Lin HJ, Shen WW, Xu XH, Zhu BW, Xu XY, Ding YY, Wong FY, He N


Metabolic syndrome (MS) is common among obese people. Little is known about the magnitude and characteristics of MS in people living with HIV (PLWH) in Asian countries in general and China in particular. Using baseline data collected between February 2017 through January 2020 from the Comparative HIV and Aging Research in Taizhou (CHART) cohort in China, we examined MS among 2,227 PLWH and 5,264 matched people without HIV, respectively. MS was defined using the criteria set forth by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF). Approximately 76.7% of PLWH had body mass index (BMI) < 24.0 kg/m2, significantly higher than people without HIV (50.3%). Among participants with BMI < 24.0 kg/m2, PLWH had a significantly higher prevalence of MS than people without HIV (20.6% vs. 14.5%; aOR: 1.41, 95% CI: 1.19-1.68) overall, and at an age of 18-29 (10.4% vs. 3.4%, aOR: 3.49, 95% CI: 1.99-6.11) and 30-44 years (17.3% vs. 8.5%, aOR: 2.03, 95% CI: 1.47-2.81), respectively. Among participants with BMI ≥ 24.0 kg/m2, MS prevalence was not significantly different between PLWH and people without HIV overall, but significantly lower in PLWH than people without HIV for those aged over 60 years (65.9% vs. 77.8%, aOR: 0.53, 95% CI: 0.32-0.88). Among PLWH, MS was significantly associated with older age and higher CD4 cell count, and with stavudine (d4T) use only in the group of BMI < 24.0 kg/m2. Our finding is indicative of a relatively higher risk for early onset of MS among HIV-infected young adults with lower BMI. Research is needed to elucidate the pathogenic mechanism for MS among PLWH.

KEYWORDS: metabolic syndrome, body mass index, young adults, HIV infection, China

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