Aging HIV Population Should be Monitored for Diabetes

The aging HIV population presents challenges to health care providers.

As the population of individuals with HIV is living longer, the development of diabetes mellitus has become a particular concern. Although antiretroviral therapy (ART) has led to significantly longer life expectancies among individuals with HIV, this, in turn, has contributed to the likelihood that these individuals will develop age-related comorbidities at earlier ages. Additionally, research has shown that the use of older antiretrovirals, which were associated with fat atropine, visceral fat accumulation, and metabolic complications, are contributing factors to the development of diabetes in this population.

Recently, investigators from a number of facilities located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada published a study in BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care that documents higher incidences of diabetes in older adults with HIV. They also established a correlation between advanced infection, use of older antiretrovirals, and the development of diabetes.

For the study, a total of 1065 individuals with HIV were followed for approximately 13 years. The majority of patients (80%) were male and 43% had hepatitis C coinfection. Approximately 38% were injection drug users. Of note, the median body mass index for participants was 24 kg/m2, which was considered normal to low compared with the general population. All participants were 50 years of age or older.

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