Background: Geriatric syndromes such as falls, frailty, and functional impairment are multifactorial conditions used to identify vulnerable older adults. Limited data exist on these conditions in older HIV-infected adults, and no studies have comprehensively examined these conditions.
Methods: Geriatric syndromes including falls, urinary incontinence, functional impairment, frailty, sensory impairment, depression, and cognitive impairment were measured in a cross-sectional study of HIV-infected adults aged 50 years and older who had an undetectable viral load on antiretroviral therapy. We examined both HIV and non-HIV-related predictors of geriatric syndromes including sociodemographics, number of comorbidities and nonantiretroviral medications, and HIV-specific variables in multivariate analyses.
Results: We studied 155 participants with a median age of 57 (interquartile range: 54-62) and 94% were men. Prefrailty (56%), difficulty with instrumental activities of daily living (46%), and cognitive impairment (47%) were the most frequent geriatric syndromes. Lower CD4 nadir incidence rate ratio [IRR: 1.16, 95% (confidence interval) CI: 1.06 to 1.26], non-white race (IRR: 1.38, 95% CI: 1.10 to 1.74), and increasing number of comorbidities (IRR: 1.09, 95% CI: 1.03 to 1.15) were associated with increased risk of having more geriatric syndromes.
Conclusions: Geriatric syndromes are common in older HIV-infected adults. Treatment of comorbidities and early initiation of antiretroviral therapy may help to prevent development of these age-related complications. Clinical care of older HIV-infected adults should consider incorporation of geriatric principles.