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Fat Loss and Accumulation: Two Distinct Syndromes?

Fat Loss and Accumulation: Two Distinct Syndromes?


Researchers at Tufts and Harvard universities, studying more than 450 HIVers, have discovered that antiretroviral-related fat loss from the extremities and fat gains in the torso are distinct syndromes. Although the two are often lumped together as 'fat redistribution' or even the broader 'lipodystrophy' syndrome, the conditions actually have different risk factors, according to the study in the June 15 edition of the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. The researchers determined that the risk of fat atrophy is linked to low triceps skin-fold values, smaller hips, higher nadir HIV viral load, use of Ziagen or Zerit, and length of time spent on antiretroviral therapy. Fat buildup in the abdomen is linked to higher body-fat ratios and higher triglyceride levels. Also, women were shown to be at a higher risk than men for developing fatty deposits. The researchers also say that because having one of the conditions was relatively likely (35% of the study subjects experienced fat loss, and 44% had fat buildup) but having both conditions was rare (only 14% of study subjects exhibited characteristics of both) it's likely the two conditions are unrelated.

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