Obesity among Patients with HIV: The Latest Epidemic*

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Since the advent of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), studies have been conflicting regarding weight information among patients with HIV. We performed a retrospective study among male patients with HIV between June 2004 and June 2005 at two large U.S. Navy HIV clinics to describe the prevalence and factors associated with being overweight/obese. Rates of obesity/overweight among HIV-positive patients were also compared to data from HIV-negative military personnel. Of the 661 HIV-infected patients, 419 (63%) were overweight/obese and only 5 (1%) were underweight. Patients with HIV had a mean age of 41.0 years (range, 20-73 years) and were racially diverse. The prevalence rates of being overweight/obese at the last visit were similar among both HIV-positive and -negative military members. Being overweight/obese at the last clinic visit was associated with gaining weight during the course of HIV infection (10.4 versus 4.0 pounds, p < 0.001), hypertension (36% versus 23%, p = 0.001), low high-density lipoprotein (HDL; 40% versus 31%, p < 0.001), and a higher CD4 cell count at last visit (592 versus 499 cells/mm3, p < 0.001). These data demonstrate that patients with HIV in the HAART era are commonly overweight and/or obese with rates similar to the general population. Being overweight/obese is associated with hypertension and dyslipidemia. Weight assessment and management programs should be a part of routine HIV clinical care.

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