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International Journal of Vascular Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 201027, 13 pages
Review Article

Hypertriglyceridemia, Metabolic Syndrome, and Cardiovascular Disease in HIV-Infected Patients: Effects of Antiretroviral Therapy and Adipose Tissue Distribution

1Department of Internal Medicine, University Medical Center, P.O. Box 85500, 3508 GA Utrecht, The Netherlands
2Department of Internal Medicine, Center for Diabetes and Vascular Medicine, St. Franciscus Gasthuis Rotterdam, P.O. Box 10900, 3004 BA Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Received 21 April 2011; Accepted 24 June 2011

Academic Editor: John C. L. Mamo

Copyright © 2012 Jeroen P. H. van Wijk and Manuel Castro Cabezas. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The use of combination antiretroviral therapy (CART) in HIV-infected patients has resulted in a dramatic decline in AIDS-related mortality. However, mortality due to non-AIDS conditions, particularly cardiovascular disease (CVD) seems to increase in this population. CART has been associated with several metabolic risk factors, including insulin resistance, low HDL-cholesterol, hypertriglyceridemia and postprandial hyperlipidemia. In addition, HIV itself, as well as specific antiretroviral agents, may further increase cardiovascular risk by interfering with endothelial function. As the HIV population is aging, CVD may become an increasingly growing health problem in the future. Therefore, early diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular risk factors is warranted in this population. This paper reviews the contribution of both, HIV infection and CART, to insulin resistance, postprandial hyperlipidemia and cardiovascular risk in HIV-infected patients. Strategies to reduce cardiovascular risk are also discussed.