Sensory neuropathy (SN) is a common peripheral nerve complication of HIV infection and highly active antiretroviral therapy. Metabolic syndrome (MetS), a cluster of risk factors for atherosclerosis and microvascular disease, is associated with SN in HIV-uninfected (HIV−) persons. We examined if MetS or its components predispose individuals to HIV-SN.
From a prospective multicenter cohort of 1,556 HIV+ subjects, a subgroup (n=130) with fasting laboratory tests and SN assessment was selected.
SN was defined by symmetrically decreased reflexes or sensation loss in the legs. MetS was defined by presence of ≥3 risk factors: mean arterial pressure (MAP) ≥100 mm Hg; triglycerides (TRG) ≥150 mg/dl and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) <40 mg/dL for males, <50 mg/dL for females; body mass index (BMI) >25 kg/m2; plasma glucose (GLU) ≥100 mg/dl and self-reported diabetes (DM II). Multivariate logistic regression examined the association between HIV-SN and MetS.
After controlling for HIV-SN risk factors- age, CD4 current, length of HIV infection, use of dideoxynucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors and protease inhibitors; MetS was not associated with HIV-SN (p=0.72). However, when each MetS component was assessed, elevated TRG was a significant risk factor for HIV-SN. From the larger cohort, both DM II (OR=1.4, p<0.01) and elevated TRG (OR=1.4, p=0.01) were risk factors for HIV-SN.
The risk of HIV-SN was increased for DM II and elevated TRG, but not other MetS components. Both increase the risk of SN in HIV- populations, but the mechanism(s) remains unclear.
Keywords: HIV, sensory neuropathy, metabolic syndrome, highly active antiretroviral therapy