People who grow old with HIV could develop more chronic pain
There are still many things to discover regarding the health of people who reach old age and are living with HIV and taking an antiretroviral treatment. A research team from the United States analyzed the relationship between chronic pain and other conditions associated with HIV infection in elderly people.
According to a note from the Working Group on HIV Treatments (gTt-VIH), this study, presented on the XII International Workshop on HIV and Aging, included 158 people who already participated in another study on aging with HIV, from the study, 33% of participants were women and 52% were black, and had an age average of 61 years old. The average time passed since HIV diagnosis was 23 years.
Pain and depression in elderly people with HIV
According to participants’ numbers, 19% took opioid painkillers and 11% took antidepressants. Additionally, 3% stated to have felt a very severe pain the month prior to the study, 9% felt a severe pain, 35% a moderate pain, 20% a mild pain, 18% a very mild pain and only 15% had not felt any pain at all.
Upon carrying out a retrospective analysis, it was observed that people with symptoms of depression presented a more severe pain than people who did not have these symptoms. At the same time, the most severe pain was related to a worse physical condition, defined by less speed to walk, less grip strength, higher number of recent falls and less self perception of physical functions.
The study suggests that symptoms of depression and inflammation could be linked to pain in people who have grown old with HIV, and that these two factors would be having an impact on their physical condition. At the same time, pain could be linking symptoms of depression and inflammation with physical conditions of vulnerability associated with age, in elderly people with HIV.
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