Metabolic changes: defining the syndrome

The ‘metabolic syndrome’ is an interrelated collection of metabolic abnormalities which increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, including abnormal lipid and glucose levels, insulin resistance and obesity. The WHO definition of the metabolic syndrome in HIV-negative people is:

  • Fasting plasma glucose > 6.1mmol (110mg/dl), plus at least two of the following:
  • Serum triglycerides above 1.69mm (150mg/dl) or serum HDL cholesterol below 0.9 mm (35mg/dl).
  • Blood pressure above 140 / 90mmHg. (See “Antiretroviral therapy and risk of high blood pressure” (LINK))
  • Abdominal obesity defined as waist to hip ratio above 0.90, waist girth above 94cm or BMI above 30 in men.

While there is some disagreement about the specific metabolic changes which occur in people on HAART, several cohort studies have suggested that many individuals receiving HAART suffer from the metabolic syndrome, regardless of clinically visible body fat changes. Several of these abnormalities, including high triglyceride levels and high baseline cholesterol, have been shown to predict the development of body fat changes in people receiving HAART.

Community Consensus Statement on Access to HIV Treatment and its Use for Prevention

Together, we can make it happen

We can end HIV soon if people have equal access to HIV drugs as treatment and as PrEP, and have free choice over whether to take them.

Launched today, the Community Consensus Statement is a basic set of principles aimed at making sure that happens.

The Community Consensus Statement is a joint initiative of AVAC, EATG, MSMGF, GNP+, HIV i-Base, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, ITPC and NAM/aidsmap

This content was checked for accuracy at the time it was written. It may have been superseded by more recent developments. NAM recommends checking whether this is the most current information when making decisions that may affect your health.

NAM’s information is intended to support, rather than replace, consultation with a healthcare professional. Talk to your doctor or another member of your healthcare team for advice tailored to your situation.