Journal Article

Cholesterolemia, Hypertension, and Depression/Anxiety Most Frequent Comorbidities


In a study of 400 older persons with HIV and an average age of 59 years the key predictors of the most frequent comorbidities of elevated cholesterol, hypertension, and depression/anxiety were age and duration of HIV infection. With comorbidity frequencies of 24 % to 60%, treatment of comorbiities in older adults with HIV must be aggressively addressed.

OBJECTIVE: To characterize the profile of non-AIDS-related comorbidities (NARC) in the older HIV-1-infected population and to explore the factors associated with multiple NARC. METHODS: This was a multicentre, cross-sectional study including HIV-1-infected patients aged >/=50 years, who were virologically suppressed and had been on a stable antiretroviral therapy (ART) regimen for at least 6 months. A multiple regression model explored the association between demographic and clinical variables and the number of NARC. RESULTS: Overall, 401 patients were enrolled. The mean age of the patients was 59.3 years and 72.6% were male. The mean duration of HIV-1 infection was 12.0 years and the median exposure to ART was 10.0 years. The mean number of NARC was 2.1, and 34.7% of patients had three or more NARC. Hypercholesterolemia was the most frequent NARC (60.8%), followed by arterial hypertension (39.7%) and chronic depression/anxiety (23.9%). Arterial hypertension and diabetes mellitus were the most frequently treated NARC (95.6% and 92.6% of cases, respectively). The linear regression analysis showed a positive relationship between age and NARC (B=0.032, 95% confidence interval 0.015-0.049; p=0.0003) and between the duration of HIV-1 infection and NARC (B=0.039, 95% confidence interval 0.017-0.059; p=0.0005). CONCLUSIONS: A high prevalence of NARC was found, the most common being metabolic, cardiovascular, and psychological conditions. NARC rates were similar to those reported for the general population, suggesting a larger societal problem beyond HIV infection. A multidisciplinary approach is essential to reduce the burden of complex multi-morbid conditions in the HIV-1-infected population.

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