Metabolic syndrome and endocrine status in HIV-infected transwomen

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Background:HIV-infected transwomen face multiple specific issues. Economic and social marginalization, sex work, substance abuse, hormonal consumption and silicone injection may affect the course of HIV infection and lead to metabolic and endocrine complications.Methods:A matched case–control study was performed between 2013 and 2015 in a University Hospital and compared metabolic syndrome (MetS), thyroid and adrenal functions in HIV-infected transwomen (i.e. cases) and cisgender HIV-infected men (i.e. controls) matched for age and antiretroviral therapy. The interaction between hormonal consumption, the course of HIV infection and antiretroviral therapy was also studied. Clinical and biological data (CD4+ cell count, HIV RNA load, antiretroviral plasma drug concentration, HDL, triglycerides, glucose, cortisol, thyroid stimulating hormone, free thyroxine, prolactine) were measured.Results:A total of 292 HIV-infected patients (100 cases and 192 controls) were prospectively included. There was no difference between the two populations in terms of frequency of MetS, but subclinical hypothyroidism and adrenal insufficiency were more frequent in cases than in controls with, respectively, 12 vs. 3% (P < 0.002) for hypothyroidism and 20 vs. 8% (P < 0.001) for adrenal insufficiency. Prolactinemia, only performed in transwomen, was often elevated (21%) but rarely confirmed as true active hyperprolactinemia (monomeric form) (3%). Although hormonal intake was frequent among transwomen (31%), no impact on antiretroviral bioavailability and efficacy was detected.Conclusion:In this study, no increase in the prevalence of MetS was detected in HIV-infected transwomen patients. In contrast, adrenal and thyroid functions abnormalities were frequent and should be systematically assessed in this population. No impact of hormonal intake on antiretroviral bioavailability and efficacy was detected.

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