Association of age and comorbidity with physical function in hiv-infected and uninfected patients: Results from the veterans aging cohort study Academic Article Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Physicians


  • HIV clinical care now involves prevention and treatment of age-associated comorbidity. Although physical function is an established correlate to comorbidity in older adults without HIV infection, its role in aging of HIV-infected adults is not well understood. To investigate this question we conducted cross-sectional analyses including linear regression models of physical function in 3227 HIV-infected and 3240 uninfected patients enrolled 2002-2006 in the Veterans Aging Cohort Study-8-site (VACS-8). Baseline self-reported physical function correlated with the Short Form-12 physical subscale (ρ=0.74, p<0.001), and predicted survival. Across the age groups decline in physical function per year was greater in HIV-infected patients (βcoef-0.25, p<0.001) compared to uninfected patients (βcoef-0.08, p<0.03). This difference, although statistically significant (p<0.01), was small. Function in the average 50-year old HIV-infected subject was equivalent to the average 51.5-year-old uninfected subject. History of cardiovascular disease was a significant predictor of poor function, but the effect was similar across groups. Chronic pulmonary disease had a differential effect on function by HIV status (Δβ coef-3.5, p<0.03). A 50-year-old HIV-infected subject with chronic pulmonary disease had the equivalent level of function as a 68.1-year-old uninfected subject with chronic pulmonary disease. We conclude that age-associated comorbidity affects physical function in HIV-infected patients, and may modify the effect of aging. Longitudinal research with markers of disease severity is needed to investigate loss of physical function with aging, and to develop age-specific HIV care guidelines. © Copyright 2011, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

publication date

  • January 2011



  • Academic Article


Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1089/apc.2010.0242

PubMed ID

  • 21214375

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 13

end page

  • 20


  • 25


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