Body mass index and waist circumference in patients with HIV in South Africa and associated socio-demographic, health related and psychosocial factors

SOURCE: AIDS and Behavior
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
TITLE AUTHOR(S): D.Huis in 't Veld, S.Pengpid, R.Colebunders, K.Peltzer
DEPARTMENT: Human and Social Capabilities (HSC)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 9668
HANDLE: 20.500.11910/10814

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A high body mass index (BMI) and high waist circumference are important health risk factors predisposing for cardiovascular and metabolic diseases and certain cancers. Historically, underweight was a diagnostic criterion of HIV-infection. In a cross-sectional study the prevalence of BMI-categories and high waist circumference and its associated factors in patients visiting three outpatient HIV clinics in South Africa were measured with anthropometric measurements and structured questionnaires regarding socio-demographic information, quality of life (QoL), AIDS-related stigma, symptoms of depression, alcohol use, HIV related information and level of adherence to ART. The median age of the 2230 included patients was 37 years, 66.5% were women and 88.6% received antiretroviral therapy. The prevalences of overweight, obesity and high waist circumference were 29.2, 21.9 and 44.6% respectively in women and 12.4, 4.0 and 3.9% respectively in men. Underweight was found in 18.2% of men and 6.3% of women. In multinomial regression analysis compared to a normal BMI, both overweight and obesity were associated with female gender, with being married or cohabiting and with a higher QoL score. Underweight was associated with male gender and tobacco use and negatively associated with being married or cohabiting and the physical domain of the QoL measure. A high waist circumference in men was associated with higher age and negatively associated with tobacco use and stigma score. In women it was negatively associated with never being married. A high prevalence of overweight and obesity was observed in HIV-clinics in South Africa, mainly in women. Since overweight and obesity are important health risk factors, effective weight reduction interventions are desirable.