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Women With HIV Suffer More From Other Diseases

Women With HIV Suffer More From Other Diseases: Women with HIV have a higher burden of hypertension, diabetes, lung disease and cardiovascular disease than HIV-negative women, according to data published in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

“Women make up more than half of the global HIV burden yet are underrepresented in HIV research.

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As we start to take care of the aging HIV population, it is important we consider biological and social contexts that may make women age differently than men,” Morgan Birabaharan, MD, of the department of infectious diseases and global public health at the University of California, San Diego, told Healio.

“Recently, investigators of the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) provided compelling data on the extensive burden of chronic diseases in women living with HIV (WLWH).

However, for some diseases such as hypertension, the authors found no difference in prevalence between WLWH and at-risk HIV-seronegative women.”

Since at-risk HIV-seronegative women are a “vulnerable and disenfranchised population” and could have high disease burden at baseline, the researchers wondered if differences would be seen when comparing WLWH against the general U.S. population, Birabaharan said.

They performed a cross-sectional analysis using a multi-health system electronic medical record analytics platform.

According to the study, the cohort included women aged older than 18 years with HIV infection and an active status in the database from April 21, 2015, through April 21, 2020 10,590 WLWH and 14,546,020 HIV-seronegative women controls.

The study demonstrated that there is a large difference in burden of hypertension (49% vs. 31%), diabetes (22% vs. 12%), lung disease (36% vs. 17%) and cardiovascular disease (13% vs. 7%) between WLWH and HIV-seronegative women, respectively.

After adjusting for age and race, the study found that WLWH had a significantly higher prevalence of hypertension (prevalence ratio [PR] = 1.37; 95% CI, 1.35-1.40), diabetes (PR = 1.48; 95% CI, 1.43-1.53), cardiovascular disease (PR = 2.05; 95% CI, 1.96-2.15) and lung disease (PR = 2.06; 95% CI, 2.01-2.11) than women without HIV.


Birabaharan said the study demonstrated that WLWH are developing these chronic diseases at earlier ages.

“Physicians caring for WLWH should be aware of the high comorbidity burden and look for opportunities of prevention, early identification, and management,” Birabaharan said.

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