Prevalence and predictors of metabolic syndrome among HIV- infected and HIV-uninfected women in the Women's Interagency HIV Study


The metabolic syndrome is a set of health problems consisting of at least 3 of the following symptoms: excessively high blood sugar levels, increased waist circumference, altered cholesterol levels (elevated triglycerides, or “bad fats” and low HDL cholesterol or “good fats”), and high blood pressure. Among HIV negative individuals, these symptoms are associated with long-term cardiovascular complications. We looked at the prevalence of this metabolic syndrome among women in the WIHS cohort and have found that these health problems are much more common among HIV positive women than HIV negative women. HIV infected women who were older, smoked, had higher weight and higher Body Mass Index, and were taking certain HIV medications, (such as stavudine), were even more likely to have these symptoms of metabolic syndrome. These results have important implications for participants who may benefit from early interventions and modification of risk factors such as altered cholesterol levels to minimize their risk of future heart-disease complications.


Sobieszczyk ME, Hoover D, Anastos K, Mulligan R, Tan T, Shi C, Hyman C, Cohen M, Cole S, Plankey M and Justman J. Prevalence and predictors of metabolic syndrome among HIVpositive and negative women in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study. J Acquir Immune Defic Synd 2008;48:272-280.