Incidence of Lipoatrophy and Lipohypertrophy in the Women's Interagency HIV Study

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To estimate the incidence of lipoatrophy and lipohypertrophy among HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected women from the Women's Interagency HIV Study.


Eight hundred fifteen women with semiannual data on self-report of bidirectional change in body fat, anthropometric measurements, weight, and bioelectric impedance analysis were included in a 30-month incidence analysis.


Lipoatrophy and lipohypertrophy in both peripheral (arms, legs, and buttocks) and central (waist, chest, and upper back) sites were defined by self-report of either a decrease or an increase in a body fat region over the previous 6 months that was confirmed by a corresponding change in anthropometric measurement.


Weight and total body fat increased in HIV-uninfected women but remained stable in HIV-infected women over 30 months. Among HIV-infected women, the incidence of peripheral (relative hazard, 2.1; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.4–3.3) and central (relative hazard, 1.9; 95% CI, 1.2–2.8) lipoatrophy was about double that among HIV-uninfected women, after adjustment for age and race. The incidence of peripheral lipohypertrophy appeared lower among HIV-infected women than among HIV-uninfected women (relative hazard, 0.8; 95% CI, 0.6–1.1), while the incidence of central lipohypertrophy did not differ by HIV status. Of HIV-infected women with 2 of 4 lipodystrophy outcomes, most (81%) had combined peripheral and central lipoatrophy or combined peripheral and central lipohypertrophy. Only 14% of these women had both peripheral lipoatrophy and central lipohypertrophy


These prospective data suggest that lipoatrophy, affecting both peripheral and central sites, predominates in HIV-infected women. The simultaneous occurrence of peripheral lipoatrophy and central lipohypertrophy was uncommon.

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