As HIV-infected patients grow older, some accumulate multiple health problems earlier than the noninfected ones in particular frailty phenotypes. Patients with frailty phenotype are at higher risk of adverse outcomes (worsening mobility, disability, hospitalization, and death within three years).
Our study aimed to evaluate prevalence of frailty in elderly HIV-infected patients and to assess whether frailty is associated with HIV and geriatric factors, comorbidities, and precariousness in a French cohort of older HIV infected.
This 18-month cross-sectional multicenter study carried in 2013 to 2014 had involved 502 HIV-infected patients aged 50 years and older, cared in 18 HIV-dedicated hospital medical units, located in South of France.
Prevalence of frailty was 6.3% and of pre-frailty 57.2%. Low physical activity and weakness were the main frailty markers, respectively 49.4% and 19.9%. In univariate models, precariousness, duration of HIV antiretroviral treatment >15 years, 2 comorbidities or more, risk of depression, activities of daily living disability, and presence of pain were significantly associated with frail and pre-frail phenotype. Multivariate logistic regression analyses showed that only pain was significantly different between frail and pre frail phenotype versus non frail phenotype (odds ratio = 1.2; P = .002).
Our study is the first showing a significant association between pain and frailty phenotype in older patients infected by HIV. As frailty phenotype could be potentially reversible, a better understanding of the underlying determinant is warranted. Further studies are needed to confirm these first findings.