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A new study helps explain why people with HIV age faster than their HIV-negative counterparts, despite similar lifestyles. Additionally, the findings might offer poz people the ability to calculate how many years certain factors are adding to their biological age.
The study, published in the journal AIDS, suggests that those living with HIV who have had CD4 T-cell counts drop below 200 (and those who have specific co-infections) are especially at risk of experiencing advanced aging.
Researchers - Risk - Disability - Illness - Death
Researchers have long known that being HIV-positive is linked with an increased risk of disability, illness, and death — and have speculated that those living with the virus are aging faster than HIV-negative peers. But in order to evaluate this, Davide De Francesco, a research statistician at University College London, and his colleagues compared 134 HIV-positive participants with 79 HIV-negative people with similar sociodemographic and lifestyle factors.
Participants were all 45 years old or older. The HIV-positive participants were on treatment and had undetectable HIV viral loads (< 50 copies/ml) for at least 12 months. Thirty-one percent of those with HIV had had a prior clinical AIDS diagnosis.
Scientists - Associations - Set - Biomarkers - Factors
The scientists looked at associations between a set of 10 biomarkers tied to aging with sociodemographic factors (age, sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, education), lifestyle risk factors (smoking, alcohol consumption, and drug use), use of specific antiretroviral drugs, chronic viral co-infections (hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and cytomegalovirus), and specific HIV-related factors (CD4 and CD8 cell-counts; CD4/CD8 ratio; whether one’s CD4 count has ever dipped below 200, the number of years since HIV diagnosis, and whether they’d had a prior AIDS diagnosis).
Incorporating the biomarkers into calculations, the researchers found that those with HIV had significantly greater biological age...
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