Introduction: Previous studies suggest that indicators of central adiposity such as waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) and waist circumference may be altered by HIV infection, antiretroviral treatment, or both.
Methods: Waist and hip circumference and body mass index (BMI) were measured among participants of the Women's Interagency HIV Study semiannually from 1999 to 2004. Generalized linear models evaluated longitudinal patterns of these measures and associations with demographic and clinical characteristics.
Results: WHR was significantly larger, whereas BMI and waist and hip circumference were significantly smaller at almost all 11 semiannual visits among 942 HIV-infected women compared with 266 HIV-uninfected women. Among HIV-uninfected women, mean waist and hip circumference and BMI increased over the 5-year study period (waist: +4.1 cm or 4.4%, hip: +3.76 cm or 3.5%, and BMI +2.43 kg/m2 or 8.2%), whereas WHR remained stable. Among the HIV-infected women, waist and hip circumference, BMI, and WHR did not significantly change. Independent predictors of smaller BMI among HIV-infected women included white race, hepatitis C virus seropositivity, current smoking, higher viral load, and lower CD4 cell count. Independent predictors of larger WHR among HIV-infected women included age, white and other non-African American race, higher CD4 cell count, and protease inhibitor (PI) use. Use of a highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) regimen was not an independent predictor of BMI or WHR.
Conclusions: HIV-infected women had higher WHRs compared with HIV-uninfected women, despite lower BMIs and waist and hip measurements. BMI and waist and hip circumference increased over 5 years among the HIV-uninfected women but remained stable in the HIV-infected women. Among HIV-infected women, PI use was associated with a larger WHR, although HAART use itself was not appreciably associated with BMI or WHR.