Antiretroviral regimens that do not contain a protease inhibitor might put HIV-positive women at a greater risk of developing insulin resistance and diabetes, according to a study in the May 15 edition of the journal Clinical Infections Diseases. Earlier studies suggested a link between the conditions and antiretroviral drug--with protease inhibitors suspected as the cause of blood sugar abnormalities. But researchers in New York who studied 332 HIV-positive middle-aged women found that insulin resistance, a diabetes precursor, was reported in 26% of the women on nonprotease-based regimens, compared with 12% taking protease inhibitors. Women not on protease-based therapy also were more likely to have impaired glucose tolerance.
Other prediabetes and diabetes risk factors included obesity and a family history of the disease. All HIV-positive women should be closely monitored for signs of diabetes, the researchers say, with particular attention given to those not on protease-based regimens.