Frailty and/or neurocognitive impairment (NCI) predict poor health outcomes among older people living with HIV (PLWH), a study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases found.
U.S. researchers followed 987 virally suppressed participants for two years as part of an observational, longitudinal AIDS Clinical Trials Group study known as HAILO (short for HIV Infection, Aging, and Immune Function Long-Term Observational Study). Median age at study start was 51 years, and about 20% were frail, had NCI, or both.
Over the study period, 26% experienced one or more of three issues: recurrent falls, worsening limitations of instrumental activities of daily life, or death. Being frail and having impaired neurocognition more than doubled the risk of these outcomes (prevalence ratio [PR] = 2.65), and either of these conditions significantly increased the risk (frailty, PR = 2.26; NCI, PR = 1.73). "Social frailty" -- loss of resources, behaviors, and activities needed to fulfill basic social needs -- was a strong confounder in these analyses.
Study authors recommended that models of care for older PLWH should include measures such as reducing the number of medications people take, geriatric consultations, or home health assistance, as well as interventions targeting "social frailty."