Lipid Changes in Kenyan HIV-1–infected Infants Initiating Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy by 1 Year of Age

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Early highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) is recommended for HIV-1–infected infants. There are limited data on lipid changes during infant HAART.


Nonfasting total (TC), low density lipoprotein (LDL) and high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and triglycerides (TG) were measured at 0, 6 and 12 months. Correlates of lipid levels and changes post-HAART were assessed using linear regression.


Among 115 infants, pre-HAART median age was 3.8 months, CD4% was 19% and weight-for-age Z score was –2.42. Pre-HAART median lipid levels were: TC, 108.7 mg/dL; LDL, 42.5 mg/dL; HDL, 29.4 mg/dL and TG, 186.9 mg/dL. Few infants had abnormally high TC (6.2%) or LDL (5.6%), but many had low HDL (76.5%) or high TG (69.6%). Higher pre-HAART weight-for-age and height-for-age Z scores were each associated with higher pre-HAART TC (P = 0.04 and P = 0.01) and LDL (P = 0.02 and P = 0.008). From 0 to 6 months post-HAART, TC (P < 0.0001), LDL (P < 0.0001) and HDL (P < 0.0001) increased significantly, and 23.1% (P = 0.002), 14.0% (P = 0.2), 31.3% (P < 0.0001) and 50.8% (P = 0.2) of infants had abnormally high TC, high LDL, low HDL and high TG, respectively. Changes in TC and HDL were each associated with higher gain in weight-for-age Z score (P = 0.03 and P = 0.01) and height-for-age Z score (P = 0.01 and P = 0.007). Increased change in LDL was associated with higher gain in height-for-age Z score (P = 0.03). Infants on protease inhibitor–HAART had smaller HDL increase (P = 0.004).


Infants had substantive increases in lipids, which correlated with growth. Increases in HDL were attenuated by protease inhibitor–HAART. It is important to determine clinical implications of these changes.

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