Study: Many HIV/AIDS Patients Overweight, Obese
Nearly two-thirds of patients living with HIV or AIDS were overweight or obese, according to a study by an AIDS specialist at San Diego Naval Medical Center, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
Nancy Crum-Cianflone reviewed medical records of 663 personnel being treated for HIV or AIDS at Navy clinics in San Diego and Bethesda, Md.
According to her results:
- 46% of patients were overweight, including 17% who were obese; and
- 29% of patients whose HIV infection had progressed to AIDS were overweight or obese.
Crum-Cianflone said that AIDS medications have been so effective that physicians need to begin focusing on patients' hearts, blood pressure and risk of cancer.
Daniel Lee -- director of a UC-San Diego clinic for metabolic complications related to the long-term use of HIV drugs -- said that the study's findings signal the emergence of a new field of AIDS research that focuses on other health risks besides the immune system.
Allen McCutchan of UC-San Diego's HIV Neurobehavioral Research Center said the medications allow patients "to start behaving like they weren't HIV-positive," allowing them to "immerse themselves in our caloric-rich and exercise-deficient environment" (Clark, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10/5).