Share this article on:

Body Mass Index and Waist Circumference of HIV-Infected Youth in a Miami Cohort: Comparison to Local and National Cohorts

Arbeitman, Lori E.; O’Brien, Robert C.*; Somarriba, Gabriel*; Messiah, Sarah E.*; Neri, Daniela*; Scott, Gwendolyn B.; Miller, Tracie L.*

Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology & Nutrition: October 2014 - Volume 59 - Issue 4 - p 449–454
doi: 10.1097/MPG.0000000000000394
Original Articles: Hepatology and Nutrition

Objectives: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–infected youth are healthier because of effective antiretroviral therapies. We compared anthropometric measurements and prevalence of overweight and obesity between perinatally HIV-infected youth, a local HIV-uninfected comparison group, and 2007 to 2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data. In addition, we compared only African American HIV-infected youth with NHANES African Americans.

Methods: Height, weight, body mass index (BMI), and waist circumference (WC) of HIV-infected youth, aged 10 to 19 years, were compared among groups. BMI percentiles were categorized as underweight (<5%), normal (5% to <85%), overweight (85% to <95%), and obese (≥95%). Clinical correlates were modeled as predictors of BMI and WC.

Results: A total of 134 HIV-infected (including 103 African Americans) (mean age 16.5 years), 75 HIV-uninfected (mean age 14.2 years), and 3216 NHANES (including 771 NHANES African Americans) (mean age 15.0 years) youth were included in the analysis. Height and weight z scores of HIV-infected youth were lower than those of HIV-uninfected and NHANES (P ≤ 0.056) youth. BMI, WC, and BMI category were not statistically different between groups. In the HIV-infected African American group, BMI z score was lower (0.49 vs 0.76, P = 0.04) compared with NHANES African Americans. There were no significant predictors of BMI or WC for the HIV-infected group.

Conclusions: HIV-infected children have similar BMIs and WCs as uninfected children both locally and nationally and show similar high rates of obesity and overweight. When compared with a more racially similar African American national sample, HIV-infected children have a lower BMI, suggesting that there may be persistent anthropometric differences in HIV.

*Division of Pediatric Clinical Research

Holtz Children's Hospital/Jackson Memorial Hospital

Infectious Disease, Department of Pediatrics, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Tracie L. Miller, Division of Pediatric Clinical Research, Department of Pediatrics (D820), University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Batchelor Children's Research Institute, PO Box 016820, Miami, FL 33101 (e-mail:

Received 20 September, 2013

Accepted 1 April, 2014

The present study was supported by grants from National Institutes of Health (NHLBI 1 R01 HL095127, NINR 5 R01NR012885, and NICHD 1 R01 HD060325), the Micah Batchelor Award for Research Excellence, the Coulter Jones Foundation, and the DHHS HRSA (H 12HA 00028).

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

© 2014 by European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition and North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology,