CROI 2013: HIV+ Men at Increased Risk for Co-morbid Conditions Regardless of Age


 Men with HIV in a large cohort of U.S. veterans were more likely to develop cardiovascular disease, end-stage kidney disease, and certain cancers compared with HIV negative people, but not at earlier ages, according to a report presented at the 20th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections this month in Atlanta.

A sub-analysis from the Veteran's Aging Cohort Study (VACS) evaluated myocardial infarction (MI) or heart attacks, end-stage renal disease (ESRD), and cancers among HIV positive individuals and HIV negative people of similar or older age. The main finding from was that there were higher risks for the 3 co-morbid conditions depending on the type of statistical methods employed, but that there were no significant age differences in when they occurred.

VACS is a prospective, observational cohort of HIV positive people and an control group of HIV negative veterans matched for age, race, and site in the Veterans Administration system of care. The study's aim was to understand the role of comorbid medical and psychiatric disease in clinical outcomes in HIV infection.

Keri Althoff from the VA Medical Center andGeorge Washington University Medical Center presented findings from a sub-analysis covering the period October 2003 through September 2008 and including over 100,012 participants. Most were men, three-quarters were between 40 and 59 years of age, and 48% were black.


Heart Disease

Kidney Disease


The authors acknowledged a few limitations in the study. Since the cohort includes mostly men, the interpretation of these results are not generalizable to women with HIV.

After the presentation several researchers in the audience questioned why biomarkers were not assessed, which may have confirmed co-morbid conditions at even earlier ages.



K Althoff, C Wyatt, C Gibert, et al. HIV+ Adults Are at Greater Risk for Myocardial Infarction, Non-AIDS Cancer, and End-stage Renal Disease, but Events Occur at Similar Ages Compared to HIV Adults. 20th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2013). Atlanta, March 3-6, 2013. Abstract 59.