Metabolic abnormalities are often common among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) patients. The atherogenic index of plasma (AIP) is increasingly being used as a screening tool for dyslipidemia as it predicts the presence of small, dense, and highly atherogenic low density lipoprotein (LDL) and high density lipoprotein (HDL) particles. The aim of this study was to identify the pattern and predictors of an abnormal atherogenic index in highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART)-naïve HIV patients.
Materials and Methods:
HAART-naïve patients with HIV infection were recruited for this cross-sectional study. Anthropometric indices, blood pressure, CD4 count, viral load, fasting blood glucose, and lipid profiles were determined. Total cholesterol (TCH)/HDL, triglyceride (TG)/HDL, and LDL/HDL ratios were calculated. The AIP was calculated as log (TG/HDL). The correlations between AIP and the other lipoprotein ratios and predictors of AIP were determined using stepwise multiple linear regression. P < 0.05 was considered as significant.
A total of 353 patients with a mean age of 37.3 (9.6) years were recruited for this study. Low HDL level was the most common abnormality in 222 (62.9%) patients while elevated TCH was seen in 54 (15.3%) patients. Those with medium risk (AIP 0.1-0.24) and high risk category (AIP > 0.24) constituted up to 226 (64%) of the patients. There were significant correlations between AIP and CD4 count, body mass index, LDL, TCH/HDL, and LDL/HDL. Predictors of AIP were CD4 count, TCH/HDL, and LDL/HDL.
Abnormal AIP is frequent in HAART-naïve HIV patients and is inversely related to their level of immunity. We recommend that AIP estimation should be part of baseline assessment of HIV patients before the commencement of therapy.