Journal Article

HIV and Aging May Not Be As Bad?

With mortality from HIV reduced there are more older persons living with HIV. The concern is that diseases and conditions associated with aging will become frequent and result in multimorbidity (MM) in this subgroup. A number of reports, including the one featured above, have reported this increase in MM. However, investigators from Switzerland present a literature review and suggest a possible recent reduction in the frequency of various comorbidities. For example, a study from a cohort in Boston that originally reported a 2-4 times increase in cardiovascular disease (CVD) now finds a much smaller difference between persons with and without HIV. Other reports are also cited and suggest that smoking frequency (higher in HIV patients) might explain some of the excess in CVD. In the case of bone fractures a study from the Woman’s Interagency Health Study was able to adjust for other factors related to fractures, and found a fracture risk only 32% higher in HIV positive women versus negatives and was lower than previous reports. The authors reviewed a number of other reports and discuss issues with telomere length, kidney disease, neurocognitive dysfunction, frailty, and life expectancy. However, the authors conclude that there is a need for further studies to evaluate the frequency and trends of MM.

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