HIV-infected patients at higher risk of metabolic syndrome

HIV-infected patients treated with antiretroviral therapy (ART) are at increased risk of metabolic syndrome, and a new study helps identify patients most in need of interventions to reduce the risk. Metabolic syndrome, a condition characterized by a group of risk factors, including high blood glucose, high cholesterol, insulin resistance, fatty liver, and increased abdominal fat, increases the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and other diseases, including cancer.

Supriya Krishnan, research scientist at the Center for Biostatistics in AIDS Research at Harvard School of Public Health and lead author, was interviewed by Reuters Health about the paper, which was published online in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (JAIDS) on July 23, 2012. In the interview, which appeared Aug. 7, 2012, on Reuters Health’s Doctor Channel, Krishnan said 40% of the patients with metabolic syndrome at baseline and 49% of those who later developed metabolic syndrome had high blood pressure, high triglycerides, and low HDL cholesterol.

“This highlights the importance of regular monitoring of HIV-infected patients on ART for metabolic abnormalities,” Krishnan told Reuters Health. “Further, our results also highlight the importance of virologic suppression and immune restoration to avoid metabolic syndrome.”

Denise L. Jacobson, senior research scientist at HSPH, is senior author of the paper.

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Center for Biostatistics in AIDS Research (CBAR)