Bioimpedance analysis and HIV-related fatigue.
Although various physiological and psychological causes of fatigue in HIV-positive persons have been proposed, it is still not well understood. Bioimpedance analysis has proved to be an easily used, non-invasive measurement of body composition and cellular integrity. This study, looking at whether body composition as measured by bioimpedance analysis is associated with fatigue, is part of a pilot study looking for physiological and psychological biomarkers that could be factors in the fatigue experienced by HIV-positive people. Twenty-nine men and eleven women were measured for height, weight, and bioimpedance analysis. Correlations were examined between fatigue intensity and weight, body mass index, body cell mass, fat-free mass, extracellular mass, and phase angle. Because of the fat redistribution that has occurred with some people taking protease inhibitors, we also examined differences in weight, body mass index, body cell mass, fat-free mass, and fatigue intensity between those taking and those not taking protease inhibitors. There was no association between fatigue intensity and weight, body mass index, body cell mass, fat-free mass, or phase angle, nor were there differences between those taking and those not taking protease inhibitors. However, it was noted that both the phase angle and the ratio of extracellular mass to body cell mass (extracellular mass:body cell mass) were below their respective normal ranges, indicating that the participants were somewhat compromised nutritionally and with regard to cell membrane integrity. Although fatigue was not shown to be related to body composition measurement in this study, further work is needed on the causes of fatigue, because its effects on the lives of HIV-positive people can be devastating.
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