Conference Coverage

More postpartum weight gain with dolutegravir-based ART



Women with HIV on dolutegravir-based antiretroviral therapy (ART) protocols had higher weights through 18 months of the postpartum period than women on efavirenz-based therapy, according to a recent study. However, women taking dolutegravir had similar postpartum weights to women who did not have HIV infection.

The results were shared by Jennifer Jao, MD, MPH, of Northwestern University, Chicago, in a video presentation of the research during the Conference on Retroviruses & Opportunistic Infections, which was presented online this year. CROI organizers chose to hold a virtual meeting because of concerns about the spread of COVID-19.

Dr. Jao, an internal medicine physician and pediatrician, and colleagues looked at the association between dolutegravir and postpartum weight for women with HIV, compared with women with HIV who were taking efavirenz-based ART and women who did not have HIV infection.

Though there was no significant difference among the three groups for body mass index at 4 weeks post partum (all were between 24 and 26 kg/m2), postpartum weight for the dolutegravir group was significantly higher.

Using a mixed models statistical approach that adjusted for potentially confounding variables, Dr. Jao and associates found that women on a dolutegravir-based regiment weighed an average of 5 kg more postpartum than women on an efavirenz-based regiment. (P less than .01).

Further adjustment that included CD4 count, viral load, and ART status at conception didn’t change the results from the original approach that included such variables as age, breastfeeding duration , gestational diabetes status, and second and third trimester weight gain (P = .04).

The study was a secondary analysis of the Tshilo Dikotla study conducted in Botswana. Dr. Jao said that the study addressed the known association of dolutegravir-based ART with higher weight gain than other ART regimens. Seeing how postpartum weight varies by regimen is important because “postpartum weight retention impacts cardiometabolic risk,” added Dr. Jao.

Of a total of 406 women, 170 were on dolutegravir-based therapy, 114 were on efavirenz-based therapy, and 122 weren’t HIV infected. Overall, the women on efavirenz-based therapy were older, with a median age of 33 years, compared with 28.5 and 25 years for the dolutegravir group and those without HIV, respectively. This and all other between-group differences were statistically significant at P less than .01.

Women without HIV had lower gravidity, with a median one pregnancy, compared with three in the other two groups. Other significant differences included a higher rate of weight gain in the second and third trimesters for the non–HIV-infected group, who gained at a rate of 0.3 kg/week, compared with 0.1 and 0.2 kg/week for the efavirenz and dolutegravir groups, respectively. Breastfeeding duration was longer in the non–HIV-infected group as well.

Finally, 86% of women on efavirenz-based therapy were on ART at the time of conception, compared with just 35.3% of women on dolutegravir-based treatment.

“Further studies to assess mechanisms of postpartum weight retention are needed,” said Dr. Jao.

The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Jao reported no relevant conflicts of interest.

SOURCE: Jao J et al. CROI 2020, Poster 00772.

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