Cardiovascular disease and diabetes in HIV-positive and HIV-negative gay and bisexual men over the age of 55 years in Australia: insights from the Australian Positive & Peers Longevity Evaluation Study

R. Puhr, K. Petoumenos, R. Huang, D. J. Templeton, I. Woolley, M. Bloch, D. Russell, M. G. Law, D. A. Cooper

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Objectives: As HIV-positive people age, diagnosis and management of comorbidities associated with ageing are of increasing concern. In this study, we aimed to compare the self-reported prevalences of heart disease, stroke, thrombosis and diabetes in older Australian HIV-positive and HIV-negative gay and bisexual men (GBM). Methods: We analysed data from the Australian Positive & Peers Longevity Evaluation Study (APPLES), a study of a prospectively recruited cross-sectional sample of 228 (51.1%) HIV-positive and 218 (48.9%) HIV-negative GBM, aged ≥ 55 years. Regression methods were used to assess the association of HIV status with self-reported comorbidities. Results: Of 446 patients, 389 [200 (51.4%) HIV-positive] reported their disease history. The reported prevalence of comorbidities was higher in the HIV-positive group than in the HIV-negative group: heart disease, 19.5 versus 12.2%; stroke, 7.5 versus 4.2%; thrombosis, 10.5 versus 4.2%; and diabetes, 15.0 versus 9.0%, respectively. In adjusted analyses, HIV-positive GBM had significantly increased odds of reporting heart disease [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 1.99; P = 0.03] and thrombosis (aOR 2.87; P = 0.01). In our analysis, HIV status was not significantly associated with either age at diagnosis of heart disease (median 53 years for HIV-positive GBM versus 55 years for HIV-negative GBM; P = 0.64) or 5-year cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk estimated using the Framingham risk score. Conclusions: HIV-positive GBM more commonly reported heart disease and thrombosis compared with their HIV-negative peers. These results further highlight the need to understand the impact of HIV on age-related comorbidities in GBM, to guide optimal screening and treatment strategies to reduce the risk of these comorbidities among the HIV-positive population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-130
Number of pages10
JournalHIV Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019


  • ageing
  • cardiovascular disease
  • comorbidities
  • diabetes
  • HIV

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