Increasing Rates of Obesity among HIV-Infected Persons during the HIV Epidemic

Nancy Crum-Cianflone*, Mollie Poehlman Roediger, Lynn Eberly, Maryam Headd, Vincent Marconi, Anuradha Ganesan, Amy Weintrob, R. Vincent Barthel, Susan Fraser, Brian K. Agan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

191 Scopus citations


Background: The prevalence and factors associated with overweight/obesity among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)- infected persons are unknown. Methods: We evaluated prospective data from a U.S. Military HIV Natural History Study (1985-2004) consisting of early diagnosed patients. Statistics included multivariate linear regression and longitudinal linear mixed effects models. Results: Of 1682 patients, 2% were underweight, 37% were overweight, and 9% were obese at HIV diagnosis. Multivariate predictors of a higher bodymass index (BMI) at diagnosis included more recent year of HIV diagnosis, older age, African American race, and earlier HIV stage (all p<0.05). The majority of patients (62%) gained weight during HIV infection. Multivariate factors associated with a greater increase in BMI during HIV infection included more recent year of diagnosis, lower BMI at diagnosis, higher CD4 count, lower HIV RNA level, lack of AIDS diagnosis, and longer HIV duration (all p<0.05). Nucleoside agents were associated with less weight gain; other drug classes had no significant impact on weight change in the HAART era. Conclusions: HIV-infected patients are increasingly overweight/obese at diagnosis and during HIV infection. Weight gain appears to reflect improved health status and mirror trends in the general population. Weight management programs may be important components of HIV care.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere10106
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


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