From the Journals

Caring for aging HIV-infected patients requires close attention to unrelated diseases



A substantial proportion of non–AIDS-defining cancers, and other noninfectious comorbid diseases, could be prevented with interventions on traditional risk factors in HIV-infected patients, according to the results of large database analysis published online in The Lancet HIV.

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The researchers analyzed traditional and HIV-related risk factors for four validated noncommunicable disease outcomes (non–AIDS-defining cancers, myocardial infarction, end-stage liver disease, and end-stage renal disease) among participants of the North American AIDS Cohort Collaboration on Research and Design (NA-ACCORD), according to Keri N. Althoff, PhD, of Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, and her colleagues on behalf of the NA-ACCORD.

The study comprised individuals with the assessed disease conditions from among more than 180,000 adults (aged 18 years or older) with HIV from more than 200 sites who had at least two care visits within 12 months. The researchers used a population attributable fraction (PAF) approach to quantify the proportion of noncommunicable diseases that could be eliminated if particular risk factors were not present. According to the researchers, PAF can be used to inform prioritization of interventions.

Dr. Althoff and her colleagues found that, for non–AIDS-defining cancer, the significant preventable or modifiable risk factors were smoking, low CD4 cell count, detectable HIV RNA, a history of clinical AIDS diagnosis, and hepatitis B infection.

For myocardial infarction, the significant factors were smoking, elevated total cholesterol, hypertension, stage 4 chronic kidney disease, a low CD4 cell count, detectable HIV RNA, and hepatitis C infection.

For end-stage liver disease, the significant factors were low CD4 cell count, detectable HIV RNA, a history of a clinical AIDS diagnosis, and hepatitis B or C infection.

For end-stage renal disease, the significantly associated risk factors were elevated total cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes, low CD4 cell count, detectable HIV RNA, and a history of clinical AIDS diagnosis.

The most substantial PAF for each of the respective diseases was as follows: smoking for non–AIDS-related cancers (24%; 95% confidence interval, 13%-35%), elevated total cholesterol for myocardial infarction (44%; 95% CI, 30%-58%), and hepatitis C infection for end-stage liver disease (30%; 95% CI, 21%-39%). In addition, hypertension had the highest PAF for end-stage renal disease (39%; 95% CI, 26%-51%).

“Modifications to individual-level interventions and models of HIV care, and the implementation of structural and policy-level interventions that focus on prevention and modification of traditional risk factors are necessary to avoid noncommunicable diseases and preserve health among successfully antiretroviral-treated adults aging with HIV,” the researchers concluded.

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the NA-ACCORD. Dr. Althoff reported having no relevant disclosures.

SOURCE: Althoff KN et al. The Lancet HIV. 2019 Jan 22. doi: 10.1016/S2352-3018(18)30295-9.

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