Impact of comorbidity and ageing on health-related quality of life in HIV-positive and HIV-negative individuals

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Background:HIV-infected individuals may be at risk for the premature onset of age-associated noncommunicable comorbidities. Being HIV-positive, having comorbidities and being of higher age may adversely impact health-related quality of life (HRQL). We investigated the possible contribution of HIV infection, comorbidities and age on HRQL and depression.Methods:HIV-infected individuals and uninfected controls from the AGEhIV Cohort Study were screened for the presence of comorbidities. They completed the Short Form 36-item Health Survey to assess HRQL and the nine-item Patient Health Questionnaire to assess depression. Linear and logistic regression were used to investigate to which extent comorbidities, aging and HIV infection were independently associated with HRQL and depression.Results:HIV-infected individuals (n = 541) reported significantly worse physical and mental HRQL and had a higher prevalence of depression than HIV-uninfected individuals (n = 526). A higher number of comorbidities and HIV-positive status were each independently associated with worse physical HRQL, whereas HIV-positive status and younger age were independently associated with worse mental HRQL and more depression. The difference in physical HRQL between HIV-positive and HIV-negative individuals did not become greater with a higher number of comorbidities or with higher age.Conclusion:In a cohort of largely well suppressed HIV-positive participants and HIV-negative controls, HIV-positive status was significantly and independently associated with worse physical and mental HRQL and with an increased likelihood of depression. Our finding that a higher number of comorbidities was independently associated with worse physical HRQL reinforces the importance to optimize prevention and management of comorbidities as the HIV-infected population continues to age.

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