Ethnicity and gender differences in lipodystrophy of HIV-positive individuals taking antiretroviral therapy in Ontario, Canada

Nisha Andany, Janet M. Raboud, Sharon Walmsley, Christina Diong, Sean B. Rourke, Sergio Rueda, Anita Rachlis, Wendy Wobeser, Rodger D. MacArthur, Louise Binder, Ron Rosenes, Mona R. Loutfy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study assessed ethnicity and gender differences in prevalence, type, and severity of antiretroviral-associated lipodystrophy in HIV-positive individuals in Ontario. Methods: This was a cross-sectional analysis of the Ontario Cohort Study (OCS), a prospective study of HIV-positive patients in Ontario. Lipodystrophy was defined as at least 1 major or 2 minor self-reported changes of peripheral lipoatrophy and/or central lipohypertrophy. Prevalence, type, and severity were compared by ethnicity (Black, White, or Other) and gender. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses identified predictors of lipodystrophy. Results: Data were available for 778 participants (659 men, 119 women). There were 517 Whites, 121 Blacks, and 140 patients of Other ethnicities. In univariate analyses, Whites reported more peripheral lipoatrophy (P = .004) and abdominal lipohypertrophy (P = .04); these ethnic differences were observed in males (P = .05 and P = .03, respectively) but not females. Males reported more peripheral lipoatrophy (P = .01), whereas females had more central lipohypertrophy (P < .0001) and mixed fat redistribution (P < .0001). Multivariable regression analyses revealed Black women to be most vulnerable to lipodystrophy (P = .02), particularly lipohypertrophy (P < .0001). Conclusions: Ethnicity and gender are important factors influencing lipodystrophy. Combining lipoatrophy and lipohypertrophy into a single entity is not appropriate. Black women were most vulnerable to lipohypertrophy, which has important implications for antiretroviral therapy roll-out in Africa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-103
Number of pages15
JournalHIV Clinical Trials
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • HIV
  • antiretroviral
  • ethnicity
  • gender
  • lipodystrophy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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