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AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2006 Nov;22(11):1113-21.

Reduced aerobic capacity and physical functioning in older HIV-infected men.

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University of Maryland School of Medicine, and the Baltimore Veterans Administration Medical Center, Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center, Baltimore, Maryland 21201, USA.


Aerobic capacity and physical functioning decline with age and chronic illness. The extent of physical disability is unknown in older HIV-infected adults, who represent a rapidly growing proportion of HIV/AIDS patients in the United States. We performed functional performance testing including treadmill testing in 32 HIV-infected male veterans aged 40-69 years. Controls were 47 healthy male subjects tested previously in the same exercise laboratory. HIV-infected subjects were classified as younger (40-49 years, n = 12) or older age (50+ years, n = 20). Peak aerobic capacity (VO2peak) was significantly reduced in the older vs. younger HIV subjects [19.1 mL/kg/min +/- 5.7 (mean, SD) vs. 25.2 +/- 4.2, p = 0.01]. VO2peak was reduced 41% +/- 15% (mean, SD) in HIV-infected subjects compared to expected values from age-matched healthy controls. Regression analyses show a similar decline in VO2peak with age in HIV-infected and healthy controls. Mean 6-min walk distance was not significantly different between the HIV-infected age groups, and was reduced only 8% compared to expected values for healthy adults. Current CD4 count and HAART exposure were similar in the two age groups and were not significantly associated with VO2peak. Anemia (HCT <35%) was significantly associated with reduced VO2peak (p = 0.02), but this association was not independent of the effect of age (p = 0.1). We conclude that older HIV-infected adults have markedly impaired aerobic capacity but maintain the capacity to undertake day-to-day activities. Additional physiologic and metabolic testing is needed to measure the effect of HAART toxicity and primary aging on aerobic capacity, and to determine if older HIV-infected adults are at greater risk.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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