Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome wasting, functional performance, and quality of life

Am J Manag Care. 2000 Sep;6(9):1003-16.


Unintentional loss of weight and lean body mass (wasting) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Patients with AIDS wasting (AW) often experience reductions in lean body mass, muscle strength, and the ability to perform functions of daily living. Dependence on assistance with activities of daily living may be associated with a lower quality of life (QOL) and higher risk of mortality. These factors suggest that slowing or reversing the loss of lean body mass in AW can improve well-being. Nutritional support or appetite stimulants in the absence of exercise therapy or growth hormone supplementation can increase fat without improving body composition, whereas appropriate exercise programs, androgen therapy, and recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH) therapy may increase lean body mass in patients with AW. Resistance exercise programs can increase muscle strength and lean body mass. In addition, both resistance and endurance (aerobic) exercise augment endogenous growth hormone levels, decrease depression, enhance self-esteem, and may improve immune response. Randomized, double-blind trials have shown that rhGH therapy increases total body weight, lean body mass, exercise capacity, and QOL. In summary, interventions that improve exercise capacity and functional performance may enhance QOL in patients with AW and may reduce mortality in this group.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Counseling
  • Disease Progression
  • Exercise
  • HIV Wasting Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • HIV Wasting Syndrome / psychology
  • HIV Wasting Syndrome / therapy*
  • Human Growth Hormone / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Prognosis
  • Quality of Life*
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Weight Loss


  • Human Growth Hormone