Background Although half of HIV-infected patients develop lipodystrophy and metabolic complications, there exists no simple clinical screening tool to discern the high from the low-risk HIV-infected patient. Thus, we evaluated the associations between waist circumference (WC) combined with triglyceride (TG) levels and the severity of lipodystrophy and cardiovascular risk among HIV-infected men and women. Methods 1481 HIV-infected men and 841 HIV-infected women were recruited between 2005 and 2009 at the metabolic clinic of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia in Italy. Within each gender, patients were categorized into 4 groups according to WC and TG levels. Total and regional fat and fat-free mass were assessed by duel-energy x-ray absorptiometry, and visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and abdominal subcutaneous AT (SAT) were quantified by computed tomography. Various cardiovascular risk factors were assessed in clinic after an overnight fast. Results The high TG/high WC men had the most VAT (208.0±94.4 cm.sup.2 ), as well as the highest prevalence of metabolic syndrome (42.2%) and type-2 diabetes (16.2%), and the highest Framingham risk score (10.3±6.5) in comparison to other groups (p Conclusions A simple tool combining WC and TG levels can discriminate high- from low-risk HIV-infected patients.