Objective: Anthropometric measures were performed to determine differences in estimated fat mass, lean body mass, and body weight among three groups of men infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Design: This study was cross-sectional.
Setting: Local centers of community services and support groups for persons infected with HIV in the province of Quebec, Canada.
Subjects: Thirty-seven HIV-positive men were recruited; 11 were asymptomatic (T helper cells [CD4+ count] > 400 cells/mm3), 8 were symptomatic (CD4+ < 400 cells/mm3), and 17 were clinically stable but met the criteria of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
Main outcome measures: Self-reported usual weight, actual weight, body mass index, midarm circumference, and triceps and subscapular skinfolds were recorded. From those we derived the percentage of body fat, the midarm muscle, and fat areas. Daily energy and protein intakes were determined from a 7-day food record. Clinical signs and symptoms were assessed by a structured questionnaire.
Statistical analyses performed: For statistical comparisons, analysis of variance was used, with P < .05 being significant.
Results: We found a trend toward a decrease in body weight and in the fat mass indicators as the disease progressed. Lower energy intakes were observed among symptomatic and AIDS groups. The number of nutrition-related clinical signs and symptoms experienced by each individual correlated with the magnitude of weight loss (P < .0004, r = -.69).
Applications: The findings suggest that anthropometric measures can be used in routine clinical practice to assess changes in body weight and in estimated fat mass among men infected with HIV. Symptoms and energy intakes should be assessed to identify subjects at high risk of greater weight loss.