HIV & AIDS
Increasing Obesity in Treated Female HIV Patients from Sub-Saharan Africa: Potential Causes and Possible Targets for Intervention
Objectives: To investigate changing nutritional demographics of treated HIV-1-infected
patients and explore causes of obesity, particularly in women of African origin.
Methods: We prospectively reviewed nutritional demographics of clinic attenders at an
urban European HIV clinic during four one-month periods at three-yearly intervals (2001,
2004, 2007, and 2010) and in two consecutive whole-year reviews (2010–2011 and 2011–
2012). Risk-factors for obesity were assessed by multiple linear regression. A sub-study
of 50 HIV-positive African female patients investigated body-size/shape perception using
numerical, verbal, and pictorial cues.
Results:We found a dramatic rise in the prevalence of obesity (BMI>30 kg/m2), from 8.5
(2001) to 28% (2011–2012) for all clinic attenders, of whom 86% were on antiretroviral
treatment.Women of African origin were most affected, 49% being obese, with a further
32% overweight (BMI 25–30 kg/m2) in 2012. Clinical factors strongly associated with obesity
included female gender, black African ethnicity, non-smoking, age, and CD4 count (all
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