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Background: There is a growing concern for an increasing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in people living with HIV. This concern is evident especially in developing countries where dietary and lifestyle risk factors associated with NCDs are becoming more prominent. This study explored the prevalence of diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia and related risk factors in men and women living with HIV in Cambodia.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted among 510 adult people living with HIV randomly selected from one city and four provinces in Cambodia. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data on socio-demographic characteristics, health behaviors, medical history, and antiretroviral therapy (ART). Anthropometric and biological measurements were performed. Descriptive statistics were used to calculate proportions and means of the measured variables. An independent Student’s t-test was used for continuous variables. Chi square test or Fisher’s exact test was used for categorical variables to explore gender differences.

Results: Prevalence of diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia was 9.4, 15.1, and 33.7%, respectively. The prevalence of hyperlipidemia was significantly higher among men compared to women. Mean systolic and diastolic blood pressures were also significantly higher among men. Regarding risk factors, 17.3% of participants were overweight, and 4.1% were obese. Tobacco and alcohol use was common, particularly among men. Fruit and vegetable consumption was considerably low among both men and women. Physical activity levels were also low. About 40% of participants reported having a job that involved mostly sitting or standing; 46.3% reported engaging in moderate activities; and 11.8% reported engaging in vigorous activities during leisure time. A significantly higher proportion of men compared to women engaged in vigorous activities both at work and during leisure time.

Conclusions: The prevalence of diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia among men and women living with HIV in Cambodia is considerably high. Related risk factors were also common. Given the comorbidity of NCDs and HIV, policy and programmatic interventions are required, including integration of NCD screening into HIV programs. Distinctions in the levels of diseases and in health behaviors between men and women suggest that interventions need to be tailor-made and gender-specific, targeting their respective diseases and behaviors.


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Publisher's Statement

Originally published in International Journal for Equity in Health, 16 [Article 125]. Licensed under CC BY 4.0. This material can be found here.


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