Insulin resistance and associated factors among HIV-infected patients in sub-Saharan Africa: a cross sectional study from Cameroon

BACKGROUND: Little is known on the magnitude and correlates of insulin resistance in HIV-infected people in Africa. We determined the prevalence of insulin resistance and investigated associated factors in HIV-infected adult Cameroonians. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional study at the Yaoundé Central Hospital, Cameroon; during which we enrolled HIV-infected people aged 30 to 74 years with no previous history of cardiovascular disease. An homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) like index served to assess insulin sensitivity with insulin resistance defined by values of 2.1 or higher. RESULTS: We included 452 patients (20% men). Their mean age was 44.4 ± 9.8 years and 88.5% of them were on antiretroviral therapy (93.3% on first line regimen including Zidovudine, lamivudine and Efavirenz/Nevirapine). Of all participants, 28.5% were overweight, 19.5% had obesity and 2.0% had diabetes. The prevalence of insulin resistance was 47.3% without any difference between patients on ART and those ART-naïve (48.5% vs. 38.5%; p = 0.480). Obesity was the only factor independently associated with insulin resistance (adjusted odds ratio: 2.28; 95% confidence interval: 1.10-4.72). CONCLUSION: Insulin resistance is present in nearly half of HIV-infected patients in Cameroon despite a low prevalence rate of diabetes, and is associated with obesity.