08 October 2007

HIV patients overweight

Nearly two-thirds of HIV-infected Americans may be overweight or obese, and South Africa may be moving in the same direction, experts say.

Nearly two-thirds of HIV-infected Americans may be overweight or obese, suggests a study of 663 HIV patients at Navy hospitals in San Diego and Bethesda, Md.

"We used to worry that they would lose weight and become wasted. Maybe we should redirect our concerns to making sure they are maintaining a healthy, normal weight," said study author Dr Nancy Crum-Cianflone of TriService AIDS Clinical Consortium in San Diego, the Associated Press reported.

Of all the patients in the study, 63 percent were overweight or obese and only three percent were underweight. None of the patients was considered to be "wasted." Among patients with full-blown Aids, about 30 percent were overweight or obese.

Patients who were infected at a younger age, those who had the virus for a longer time, and those who had high blood pressure were more likely to be overweight or obese, the AP reported.

Same to happen in SA?
Dr Linda-Gail Bekker, Principal Investigator at the Desmond Tutu HIV Centre, University of Cape Town, says that there are no equivalent data for the comparable socio-economic class in South Africa.

“However, I think it is very safe to say that we are very likely to follow this pattern going forward. It is likely that secondary illnesses such as diabetes and CV diseases are going to play an increasing role as patients stay alive longer and can accumulate weight,” says Dr Bekker.

“I agree with the statement that we should be more actively managing weight as part of a healthy lifestyle package in HIV infection.”

The findings were to be presented last week at an infectious disease meeting in San Diego. – (HealthDayNews/Health24)

Read more:
HIV/Aids Centre

October 2007


Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Ask the Expert

HIV/Aids expert

Dr Sindisiwe van Zyl qualified at the University of Pretoria in 2005. She is a patients' rights activist and loves using social media to teach about HIV. She is in private practice in Johannesburg.

Still have a question?

Get free advice from our panel of experts

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

* You must accept our condition

Forum Rules