Journal: HIV Medicine
Subjects: symptoms, anxiety, ageing, HIV, wellbeing, Original Research, depression
: HIV infection, and potentially its treatment, increases the risk of an arterial ischemic stroke. Multiple etiologies and lack of clear case definitions inhibit progress in this field. Several etiologies, many treatable, are relevant to HIV-related stroke. To fully understand the mechanisms and the terminology used, a robust classification algorithm to help ascribe the various etiologies is needed. This consensus paper considers the strengths and limitations of current case definitions in the context of HIV infection. The case definitions for the major etiologies in HIV-related strokes were refined (e.g., varicella zoster vasculopathy and antiphospholipid syndrome) and in some instances new case definitions were described (e.g., HIV-associated vasculopathy). These case definitions provided a framework for an algorithm to help assign a final diagnosis, and help classify the subtypes of HIV etiology in ischemic stroke.
OBJECTIVES: An increasing proportion of people living with HIV are older adults, who may require specialized care. Adverse physical and psychological effects of HIV infection may be greatest among older people or those who have lived longer with HIV.
METHODS: The ASTRA study is a cross-sectional questionnaire study of 3258 HIV-diagnosed adults (2248 men who have sex with men, 373 heterosexual men and 637 women) recruited from UK clinics in 2011-2012. Associations of age group with physical symptom distress (significant distress for at least one of 26 symptoms), depression and anxiety symptoms (scores ≥ 10 on PHQ-9 and GAD-7, respectively), and health-related functional problems (problems on at least one of three domains of the Euroqol 5D-3L)) were assessed, adjusting for time with diagnosed HIV infection, gender/sexual orientation and ethnicity.
RESULTS: The age distribution of participants was: < 30 years, 5%; 30-39 years, 23%; 40-49 years, 43%; 50-59 years, 22%; and ≥ 60 years, 7%. Overall prevalences were: physical symptom distress, 56%; depression symptoms, 27%; anxiety symptoms, 22%; functional problems, 38%. No trend was found in the prevalence of physical symptom distress with age [adjusted odds ratio (OR) for trend across age groups, 0.96; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.89, 1.04; P = 0.36]. The prevalence of depression and anxiety symptoms decreased with age [adjusted OR 0.86 (95% CI 0.79, 0.94; P = 0.001) and adjusted OR 0.85 (95% CI 0.77, 0.94; P = 0.001), respectively], while that of functional problems increased (adjusted OR 1.28; 95% CI 1.17, 1.39; P < 0.001). In contrast, a longer time with diagnosed HIV infection was strongly and independently associated with a higher prevalence of symptom distress, depression symptoms, anxiety symptoms, and functional problems (P < 0.001 for trends, adjusted analysis).
CONCLUSIONS: Among people living with HIV, although health-related functional problems were more common with older age, physical symptom distress was not, and mental health was more favourable. These results suggest that a longer time with diagnosed HIV infection, rather than age, is the dominating factor contributing to psychological morbidity and lower quality of life.
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