Studies in persons without HIV infection have compared percentage body fat (%BF) and waist circumference as markers of risk for the complications of excess adiposity, but only limited study has been conducted in HIV-infected subjects.
We compared anthropometric and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)–based adiposity measures as correlates of metabolic complications of adiposity in HIV-infected and control subjects.
The study was a cross-sectional analysis of 666 HIV-positive and 242 control subjects in the Fat Redistribution and Metabolic Change in HIV Infection (FRAM) study assessing body mass index (BMI), waist (WC) and hip (HC) circumferences, waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), %BF, and MRI-measured regional adipose tissue. Study outcomes were 3 metabolic risk variables [homeostatic model assessment (HOMA), triglycerides, and HDL cholesterol]. Analyses were stratified by sex and HIV status and adjusted for demographic, lifestyle, and HIV-related factors.
In HIV-infected and control subjects, univariate associations with HOMA, triglycerides, and HDL were strongest for WC, MRI-measured visceral adipose tissue, and WHR; in all cases, differences in correlation between the strongest measures for each outcome were small (r ≤ 0.07). Multivariate adjustment found no significant difference for optimally fitting models between the use of anthropometric and MRI measures, and the magnitudes of differences were small (adjusted R2 ≤ 0.06). For HOMA and HDL, WC appeared to be the best anthropometric correlate of metabolic complications, whereas, for triglycerides, the best was WHR.
Relations of simple anthropometric measures with HOMA, triglycerides, and HDL cholesterol are approximately as strong as MRI-measured whole-body adipose tissue depots in both HIV-infected and control subjects.