Metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus after initiation of antiretroviral therapy in HIV infection

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Metabolic syndrome (MS) identifies individuals at risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Little is known about MS and its consequences following initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART).


HIV-infected adults (881) initiating ART were evaluated for prevalence and incidence of MS and subsequent diagnosis of CVD and T2DM over a 3-year period. MS was defined by criteria of the National Cholesterol Education Program Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (Third Report; ATP-III) or of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF).


The prevalence of baseline MS was 8.5% and 7.8% (ATP-III and IDF, respectively). During follow-up, 234 (12/100 patient-years) (ATP-III) and 178 (8/100 patient-years) (IDF) progressed to MS. MS at baseline had a borderline association with increased risk of CVD [ATP-III: hazard ratio (HR), 2.56; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.86–7.60; P = 0.095; IDF: HR, 2.89; 95% CI, 0.98–8.63; P = 0.058] and was significantly associated with an increased risk of T2DM (ATP-III: HR, 4.34; 95% CI, 1.83–10.25; P = 0.001; IDF: HR, 3.33; 95% CI, 1.35–8.17; P = 0.009). Incident MS was significantly associated with an increased risk of both CVD (ATP-III: HR, 2.73; 95% CI, 1.07–6.96; P = 0.036; IDF: HR, 3.05; 95% CI, 1.20–7.75; P = 0.019) and T2DM (ATP-III: HR, 4.89; 95% CI, 2.22–10.78; P < 0.0001; IDF: HR, 4.84; 95% CI, 2.20–10.64; P < 0.0001).


Substantial progression to MS occurs within 3 years following initiation of ART. Since baseline and incident MS identifies individuals at risk for subsequent CVD and T2DM, it warrants evaluation in patients commencing ART.

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