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.