Those with HIV still show higher risk of belly fat, says study

Copenhagen HIV study shows central obesity still an issue for patients.

According to the study published in the medical journal, Clinical Infectious Diseases, “this is the largest study to report data regarding abdominal obesity, elevated LDL-C, hypertriglyceridemia, and hypertension in PLWH and uninfected controls.“

Basically they wanted to know if fat redistribution was still an issue for those living with HIV— regardless of age of diagnosis or length of diagnosis time—as well as other key health concerns.

What we are talking about is beer belly, fat tire, get in my belly areas of the body.

HIV Belly Fat
Source: Pre-modified file from Wikipedia

How did the study work?

“1,099 PLWH from the Copenhagen Co-morbidity in HIV infection (COCOMO) study and 12,161 age and sex-matched uninfected controls from the Copenhagen General Population Study were included and underwent blood pressure, waist-, hip-, weight-, and height-measurements. Non-fasting blood samples were obtained from all participants. We assessed whether HIV was independently associated with abdominal obesity, elevated LDL-C, hypertriglyceridemia and hypertension using logistic regression models adjusted for known risk factors.”

The conclusion of the study says:

“Abdominal obesity was associated with proaterogenic metabolic factors including elevated LDL-C, hypertension and hypertriglyceridemia and remains a distinct HIV-related phenotype particularly among older PLWH. Effective interventions to reduce the apparent detrimental impact on cardiovascular risk from this phenotype are needed.”


Marco Gelpi, Shoaib Afzal, Jens Lundgren, Andreas Ronit, Ashley Roen, Amanda Mocroft, Jan Gerstoft, Anne-Mette Lebech, Birgitte Lindegaard, Klaus Fuglsang Kofoed, Børge G Nordestgaard, Susanne Dam Nielsen; Higher Risk of Abdominal Obesity, Elevated LDL Cholesterol and Hypertriglyceridemia, but not of Hypertension, in People Living with HIV: Results from the Copenhagen Comorbidity in HIV Infection (COCOMO) Study, Clinical Infectious Diseases, , ciy146,

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