Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

BackgroundMetabolic syndrome (MetS) is a constellation of conditions that increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases. It is an emerging concern in sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries, particularly because of an increasingly aging population and lifestyle changes. There is an increased risk of MetS and its components among people living with Human immune deficiency syndrome (HIV) individuals; however, the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in the SSA population and its differential contribution by HIV status is not yet established. This systematic review and meta-analysis were conducted to estimate the pooled prevalence of metabolic syndrome in people living with HIV and uninfected populations, its variation by sub-components.MethodsWe performed a comprehensive search on major databases-MEDLINE (PubMed), EBSCOhost, and Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews and Web of sciences for original epidemiological research articles that compared proportions of the MetS and its subcomponents between people living with HIV and uninfected patients and published between January 1990-December 2017. The inclusion criteria were adults aged ≥ 18 years, with confirmed HIV status. We assessed the risk of bias using a prevalence studies tool, and random effect meta-analyses were used to compute the pooled overall prevalence.ResultsA total of four cross-sectional studies comprising 496 HIV uninfected and 731 infected participants were included in the meta-analysis. The overall prevalence of MetS among people living with HIV was 21.5% (95% CI 15.09-26.86) versus uninfected 12.0% (95% CI 5.00-21.00%), with substantial heterogeneity. The reported relative risk estimate for MetS among the two groups was twofold (RR 1.83, 95% CI 0.98-3.41), with an estimated predictive interval of 0.15 to 22.43 and P = 0.055 higher for the infected population. Hypertension was the most prevalent MetS sub-components, with diverse proportions of people living with HIV (5.2-50.0%) and uninfected (10.0-59.0%) populations.ConclusionsThe high range of MetS prevalence in the HIV-infected population compared to the uninfected population highlights the possible presence of HIV related drivers of MetS. Also, the reported high rate of MetS, irrespective of HIV status, indicates a major metabolic disorder epidemic that requires urgent prevention and management programs in SSA. Similarly, in the era of universal test and treat strategy among people living with HIV cohorts, routine check-up of MetS sub-components is required in HIV management as biomarkers.Systematic review registrationPROSPERO CRD42016045727.

Original publication





Systematic reviews

Publication Date





Department of Public Health Medicine, School of Nursing and Public Health, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, 4001, South Africa.


Humans, HIV Infections, Hypertension, Diabetes Mellitus, Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active, Prevalence, Case-Control Studies, Comorbidity, Africa South of the Sahara, Dyslipidemias, Obesity, Abdominal, Metabolic Syndrome