Open Access Research article

Indices of body fat distribution for assessment of lipodysthrophy in people living with HIV/AIDS

Aline Francielle Mota Segatto1, Ismael Forte Freitas Junior2*, Vanessa Ribeiro Dos Santos3, Kelly Cristina de Lima Ramos Pinto Alves4, Dulce Aparecida Barbosa4, Alexandre Martins Portelinha Filho5 and Henrique Luiz Monteiro6

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Physiotherapy, Univ. Estadual Paulista, Campus of Presidente Prudente, São Paulo, Brazil

2 Departamento de Educação Física, Universidade Estadual PaulistaUNESP, Rua Roberto Simonsen, 305 Centro Educacional, Presidente Prudente, São Paulo, CEP 19.060-900, Brasil

3 Physical Education, Univ. Estadual Paulista, Campus of Rio Claro, São Paulo, Brazil

4 Department of Nursing, São Paulo Federal University, São Paulo, Brazil

5 Sexually Transmitted Diseases Center of São Paulo State, Presidente Prudente, São Paulo, Brazil

6 Department of Physical Education, Univ. Estadual Paulista, Campus of Bauru, São Paulo, Brazil

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BMC Research Notes 2012, 5:543  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-543

Published: 2 October 2012



Metabolic and morphological changes associated with excessive abdominal fat, after the introduction of Antiretroviral Therapy, increase the risk of cardiovascular disease in people living with HIV/AIDS(PLWHA). Accurate methods for body composition analysis are expensive and the use of anthropometric indices is an alternative. However the investigations about this subject in PLWHA are rare, making this research very important for clinical purpose and to advance scientific knowledge. The aim of this study is to correlate results of anthropometric indices of evaluation of body fat distribution with the results obtained by Dual-energy X-Ray Absorptiometry(DEXA), in people living with HIV/AIDS.


The sample was of 67 PLWHA(39 male and 28 female), aged 43.6

7.9 years. Body mass index, conicity index, waist/hip ratio, waist/height ratio and waist/thigh were calculated. Separated by sex, each index/ratio was plotted in a scatter chart with linear regression fit and their respective Pearson correlation coefficients. Analyses were performed using Prism statistical program and significance was set at 5%.


The waist/height ratio presented the highest correlation coefficient, for both male (r=0.80, p<0.001) and female (r=0.87, p <001), while the lowest were in the waist/thigh also for both: male group (r=0.58, p<0.001) and female group (r=0.03, p=0.86). The other indices also showed significant positive correlation with DEXA.


Anthropometric indices, especially waist/height ratio may be a good alternative way to be used for evaluating the distribution of fat in the abdominal region of adults living with HIV/ADIS.

AIDS/HIV; Abdominal obesity; Lipodysthrophy; Body composition