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Prevalence of fat redistribution and metabolic disorders in human immunodeficiency virus-infected children

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In this study we assessed the prevalence of fat redistribution and metabolic disorders in a population of HIV-infected children on antiretroviral treatment. To make associations with epidemiological parameters, clinical-immune status, viral load and highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), we performed a cross-sectional study in HIV-infected children. Epidemiological parameters (age, sex, family history), clinical and immune status, viral load, and duration of antiretroviral treatment (ART) and HAART, including protease inhibitors, were recorded. Presence of clinical signs of fat redistribution and lipid, glucose and lactic acid levels were evaluated. A total of 56 HIV-infected children, including 30 boys (54%), aged between 21 months and 18 years (mean 9.5 years) were studied. In all, 49 patients (87.5%) were receiving ART (mean duration 4 years) and 43 (77%) were receiving HAART (mean duration 3.6 years). Fat redistribution or lipodystrophy was present in 14 patients (25%); seven had lipohypertrophy (12.5%), two lipoatrophy (3.5%) and five a mixed pattern (8.9%). Fat redistribution was higher in children older than 11 years (50%). Of the lipodystrophic patients, 71.4% presented hypertriglyceridaemia (>130 mg/dl) and 57% hypercholesterolaemia (>180 mg/dl). We found significant associations between lipodystrophy and age, ART and HAART duration and hypertriglyceridaemia ( P <0.001, 0.002, 0.016 and <0.001, respectively), but no significant association with sex, family history, clinical or immune status and viral load. Conclusion:The prevalence of lipodystrophy was 25% (95% confidence interval 14.8–34.6) with lipohypertrophy being the commonest pattern. Clinical fat redistribution was significantly associated with older age, duration of antiretroviral treatment and highly active antiretroviral therapy and hypertriglyceridaemia.

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antiretroviral treatment


Center for Disease Control


highly active antiretroviral treatment


lipodystrophy syndrome


nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors


non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors

PI :

protease inhibitor


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Correspondence to María Isabel De José Gómez.

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Presented in part at the XIV International AIDS Conference in Barcelona (Spain), July 2002

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Sánchez Torres, A.M., Munoz Muniz, R., Madero, R. et al. Prevalence of fat redistribution and metabolic disorders in human immunodeficiency virus-infected children. Eur J Pediatr 164, 271–276 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00431-004-1610-y

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  • Children
  • Highly active antiretroviral treatment
  • HIV infection
  • Hypertriglyceridaemia
  • Lipodystrophy