Morphologic and metabolic abnormalities in vertically HIV-infected children and youth

AIDS. 2009 Mar 27;23(6):661-72. doi: 10.1097/QAD.0b013e3283269dfb.


Objective: To compare the distribution of lipid and glucose abnormalities and altered fat distribution among vertically HIV-infected patients and controls.

Design: Cross-sectional multicenter study on HIV-infected (HIV-positive) patients, 7-24 years of age, stratified by Tanner stage and protease inhibitor use (protease inhibitor, n = 161 and non- protease inhibitor, n = 79) and seronegative controls (HIV-negative, n = 146).

Methods: Measurements included fasting lipids, glucose, insulin, 2-h oral glucose tolerance test, dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, anthropometry, and antiretroviral therapy and medical histories. Multiple linear regression models were used to compare distributions between HIV-positive and HIV-negative groups.

Results: Both HIV-positive groups had long exposures to antiretroviral therapy. Protease inhibitor and nonprotease inhibitor groups had similar current CD4 cell count and HIV-1 RNA, but the protease inhibitor group had lower nadir CD4 cell count, higher peak HIV-1 RNA, and more advanced Centers for Disease Control disease stage. In adjusted analyses, both HIV-positive groups had significantly lower mean Z scores for height, weight, BMI, and total and limb fat than the HIV-negative group. Mean triglycerides were significantly higher and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol lower in both HIV-positive groups relative to the HIV-negative group. The protease inhibitor group also had significantly higher mean total, low-density lipoprotein, and non-high density lipoprotein cholesterol. Mean fasting insulin was higher in both HIV-positive groups, and 2-h glucose and insulin were higher in the protease inhibitor group. Ritonavir was associated with increasing dyslipidemia and altered glucose metabolism.

Conclusion: In a large group of vertically HIV-infected children and youth with extensive antiretroviral therapy exposure, height, weight, and total and limb fat were lower than in controls. There was a high prevalence of lipid abnormalities among those on protease inhibitors and evidence of developing insulin resistance, factors that may accelerate lifetime risk for cardiovascular disease.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anthropometry / methods
  • Anti-HIV Agents / therapeutic use
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Body Composition / physiology
  • CD4 Lymphocyte Count
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Growth / physiology
  • HIV Infections / blood
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections / physiopathology*
  • HIV Infections / transmission
  • HIV Protease Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • HIV-1 / isolation & purification*
  • Humans
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical*
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Viral Load
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-HIV Agents
  • Blood Glucose
  • HIV Protease Inhibitors
  • Lipids