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Gender Differences in Antiretroviral Drug–Related Adipose Tissue Alterations: Women Are at Higher Risk Than Men and Develop Particular Lipodystrophy Patterns

Galli, Massimo; Veglia, Fabrizio; Angarano, Gioacchino; Santambrogio, Sara; Meneghini, Elena; Gritti, Francesco; Cargnel, Antonietta; Mazzotta, Francesco; Lazzarin, Adriano

JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes: September 1st, 2003 - Volume 34 - Issue 1 - p 58-61
Clinical Science: Brief Report

Adipose tissue alterations (ATAs) were clinically assessed in 2258 HIV-1–infected outpatients consecutively observed in 6 Italian clinical centers and were found to be present in 29.5% of the men and 41.9% of the women. A logistic regression model including age, HIV disease Centers for Disease Control stage, CD4 cell counts, HIV RNA load, the duration of antiretroviral therapy, the number of drugs taken, and the use of d4T showed that men had a 0.47 adjusted risk of presenting with ATAs (95% CI: 0.38–0.58, P < 0.0001). The risks of having ATAs (except circumscribed lipomas) in any body region, presenting with fat accumulation, or being affected by combined forms of ATA were also lower in men, whereas the risk of developing pure lipoatrophy was similar in the 2 genders. Our results indicate that women are at higher risk of developing antiretroviral treatment–related ATAs and show a particular and complex ATA pattern.

From the Institute of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, University of Milan (Drs Galli and Santambrogio); Institute for Scientific Interchange (ISI) Foundation, Turin (Dr Veglia); Institute of Infectious Diseases, University of Foggia (Dr Angarano); IRCCS San Raffaele, Milan (Drs Meneghini and Lazzarin); Institute of Infectious Diseases, University of Bologna (Dr Gritti); I Division of Infectious Diseases, L. Sacco Hospital, Milan (Dr Cargnel); and Institute of Infectious Diseases, S.M. Annunziata Hospital, Firenze, Italy (Dr Mazzotta).

Received for publication February 18, 2003; accepted June 27, 2003.

Supported by the Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy (grant ISS 30C.53 and grant ISS 39C.4) and by the Italian Ministry of Health (grant ICS 030.5/RF99.55).

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Massimo Galli, Institute of Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine, Università di Milano–Ospedale Luigi Sacco, Via G.B. Grassi 74, 20157 Milano, Italy. E-mail:

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