Body mass index, inflammatory biomarkers and neurocognitive impairment in HIV-infected persons

Chukwuemeka N. Okafor, Natalie E. Kelso, Vaughn Bryant, Larry E. Burrell, Maria Jose Míguez, Assawin Gongvatana, Karen T. Tashima, Suzanne de la Monte, Robert L. Cook, Ronald A. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


To determine the relationships among body mass index (BMI), and HIV-associated neurocognitive impairment and the potential mediating effects of inflammatory cytokines. Among the HIV-infected individuals (N = 90) included in this study, obesity was associated with slower processing speed (β = −.229, standard error (SE) = 2.15, p =.033), compared to participants with a normal BMI, after controlling for psychosocial and HIV clinical factors. Serum concentrations of the interleukin-16 (IL-16) cytokine were significantly associated with slowed processing speed (β = −.235, SE = 1.62, p =.033) but did not mediate the relationship between obesity and processing speed These findings suggest that obesity may contribute to cognitive processing speed deficits in HIV-infected adults. Elevated concentrations of IL-16 are also associated with slowing, though the results suggest that obesity and IL-16 may exert independent effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-302
Number of pages14
JournalPsychology, Health and Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 16 2017


  • body mass index
  • cytokines
  • HIV
  • inflammation
  • neurocognition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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