Cardiometabolic risk factors among HIV patients on antiretroviral therapy

James N. Kiage, Douglas C. Heimburger, Christopher K. Nyirenda, Melissa F. Wellons, Shashwatee Bagchi, Benjamin H. Chi, John R. Koethe, Donna K. Arnett, Edmond K. Kabagambe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Background: HIV and combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) may increase cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. We assessed the early effects of cART on CVD risk markers in a population with presumed low CVD risk. Methods. Adult patients (n=118) in Lusaka, Zambia were recruited at the time of initiation of cART for HIV/AIDS. Cardiometabolic risk factors were measured before and 90 days after starting cART. Participants were grouped according to cART regimens: Zidovudine + Lamivudine + Nevirapine (n=58); Stavudine + Lamivudine + Nevirapine (n=43); and 'other' (Zidovudine + Lamivudine + Efavirenz, Stavudine + Lamivudine + Efavirenz, Tenofovir + Emtricitabine + Efavirenz or Tenofovir + Emtricitabine + Nevirapine, n=17). ANOVA was used to test whether changes in cardiometabolic risk markers varied by cART regimen. Results: From baseline to 90 days after initiation of cART, the prevalence of low levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (<1.04 mmol/L for men and <1.30 mmol/L for women) significantly decreased (78.8% vs. 34.8%, P<0.001) while elevated total cholesterol (TC ≥5.18 mmol/L, 5.1% vs. 11.9%, P=0.03) and the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance ≥3.0 (1.7% vs. 17.0%, P<0.001) significantly increased. The prevalence of TC:HDL-c ratio ≥5.0 significantly decreased (44.9% vs. 6.8%, P<0.001). These changes in cardiometabolic risk markers were independent of the cART regimen. Conclusion: Our results suggest that short-term cART is associated with a cardioprotective lipid profile in Zambia and a tendency towards insulin resistance regardless of the cART regimen.

Original languageEnglish
Article number50
JournalLipids in Health and Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful to investigators and staff at Center for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ) for facilitating this study. We are very grateful to the participants and staff at Chawama Clinic and Kalingalinga laboratory for their cooperation. This study was supported by the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Department of Epidemiology, the UAB Nutrition Obesity Research Center grant # P30DK056336; grants from the US National Institutes of Health (R21AI076430), including the Fogarty International Clinical Research Scholars and Fellows Program (R24-TW007988); and the Fulbright Scholars Program, US Department of State.


  • Cardiometabolic risk
  • Lipids
  • Zambia
  • cART

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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