Lipodystrophy among HIV-infected children and adolescents on highly active antiretroviral therapy in Uganda: a cross sectional study
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Background: With widespread use of antiretroviral therapy (ART) and prolonged survival of HIV-infected children, toxicities like lipodystrophy are becoming more evident. Little is known about lipodystrophy in children in Uganda yet there is increased use of ART. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and factors associated with fat redistribution and metabolic abnormalities among HIV-infected children on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in Uganda. Methods: A cross-sectional study of 364 HIV positive children aged between 2 and 18 years on ART were enrolled after consent and assent as appropriate. Sociodemographic, clinical and immunological data were collected and recorded in a questionnaire. Fat redistribution was assessed clinically for physical findings of lipohypertrophy and lipoatrophy. A fasting blood sample was taken for lipid profile and blood glucose analysis. Lipodystrophy was defined as presence of abnormal fat redistribution or metabolic abnormalities or both. The proportion of children with fat redistribution and metabolic abnormalities was calculated. We conducted multivariate analysis for factors associated with lipodystrophy among children with lipodystrophic features and those without. Results: The median age of the participants was eight years (range 2 to 18), with 43% of these aged ]10 years and a male to female ratio of 1.1:1. Majority (65%) had advanced HIV (WHO Stage III/IV) at ART initiation with a mean duration on ART of 3.8 years (91.2). The prevalence of fat redistribution and hyperlipidemia was 27.0% and 34.0%, respectively. None of the children had hyperglycaemia. Among the children with hyperlipidemia, 16.8% exhibited hypercholesterolemia and 83% had hypertriglyceridemia. Only 29% of children with fat redistribution had hyperlipidemia.We found significant association between fat redistribution and Tanner stages 2 to 5 OR 2.3 (95%CI 1.3 to 3.8), age]5 years OR 3.9 (95%CI 1.5 to 9.9) and d4T exposure OR 3.4 (95%CI 2.0 to 5.8). A Tanner stage 2 to 5 was independently associated with hyperlipidemia. No significant association was observed with HIV clinical stage and any of the anthropometric measurements. Conclusion: The prevalence of lipodystrophy is high among HIV-infected children on ART with a likelihood of developing fat redistribution and metabolic abnormalities increased during puberty.