Are age and female gender negative prognostic indicators in HIV infection or AIDS?

M. J. Keller, J. Y. Wei

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To test the hypothesis that age and female gender are associated with more rapid disease progression and clinical deterioration in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), we studied patients aged 50 years and older admitted with a diagnosis of HI V infection or AIDS between January, 1985 and October, 1995. Data collected included demographics, opportunistic infections, comorbid disease, neurologic dysfunction, and antiretroviral therapy. A total of 86 patients including 79 men and 7 women, with a mean age of 54.3 years (range, 50-71 years) were identified. The majority of patients acquired their infection through sexual intercourse (homosexual/bisexual, 65%; heterosexual, 5%). Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia was the most frequent opportunistic infection. Hypertension was the most common previous medical condition (33 patients, 38%). Other comorbid disease (cancer, diabetes, CAD, or COPD) was present in less than 13%. 57 patients (66%) had neurologic impairment, with 30 requiring treatment for delirium. Of these 30, 23 (77%) had anemia, infection, or both. 16 patients (19%) had HIV encephalopathy. 62 (72%) received antiretroviral therapy. Among the patients who died, the mean time from diagnosis of HIV infection to death was 45.7 months (range 1-154.5 mo); the mean time from diagnosis of AIDS to death was 22.3 mo (range 2.5-83.5 mo). There was no gender difference in mean time from diagnosis of HIV infection to death (45 mo for men vs. 51.4 mo for women) or mean time from diagnosis of AIDS to death (22.7 mo for men vs. 17.6 mo for women). Conclusion: Age and female gender may not necessarily be associated with more rapid disease progression or clinical deterioration in older persons with HIV infection or AIDS. Most older patients with HIV infection or AIDS do not have comorbid disease. In those with delirium, most have readily treatable conditions (anemia and/or infection).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)308a
JournalJournal of Investigative Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1996
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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