Treatment News : Fatigue Common in People With HIV, Often Linked to Psychological Factors

POZ - Health, Life and HIV
Subscribe to:
POZ magazine
E-newsletters
Join POZ: Facebook MySpace Twitter Pinterest
Tumblr Google+ Flickr MySpace
POZ Personals
Sign In / Join
Username:
Password:

Back to home » Treatment News » June 2010

Most Popular Links
Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle

Shingles

Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

15 Years Ago In POZ


More Treatment News

Click here for more news

Have news about HIV? Send press releases, news tips and other announcements to news@poz.com.


emailprint

June 10, 2010

Fatigue Common in People With HIV, Often Linked to Psychological Factors

Up to 88 percent of people with HIV experience fatigue, and psychological problems appear to be one of the most likely culprits, according to a study published online June 2 in AIDS.

Fatigue has historically been a common problem among people living with HIV, with prevalence rates approaching 90 percent in some studies. Untreated fatigue can lead to unemployment and social isolation, and it can reduce people’s ability to effectively care for themselves.

To examine fatigue in HIV disease in the modern treatment era, Eefje Jong, MD, of Slotervaart Hospital in Amsterdam, and her colleagues analyzed data from 42 studies published between January 1996 and August 2008. In addition to wanting to learn more about the prevalence of fatigue in more recent years, the researchers set out to understand the factors—including demographic, physiological, psychological and HIV-specific issues—associated with the condition. They also hoped to gain a better sense of the most effective treatment modalities for the condition.

In previous studies, researchers have found that between 20 and 60 percent of people with chronic HIV infection, and up to 85 percent of people with an AIDS diagnosis, have suffered from fatigue at one time or another. In the studies reviewed for Jong and her colleagues’ analysis, fatigue prevalence rates ranged from 33 to 88 percent.

The demographic factors most consistently predictive of fatigue were younger age and unemployment. The authors hypothesized that older people might report less fatigue because they had more effective coping strategies or more time to adjust to medication regimens. Studies that examined race, sex and income were not consistent, though lower income was associated with greater fatigue in at least one study.

In terms of HIV-related issues, CD4 and viral load were not consistently linked with fatigue, though people with more HIV-related symptoms were more likely to have the condition. Studies on comorbid conditions—such as diabetes and hepatitis B or C—were mixed, with some studies finding a connection with fatigue and others showing no connection at all.

Surprisingly, body weight and composition appeared to have no bearing on fatigue, nor did blood levels of proteins related to inflammation, such as interleukin-6 (IL-6) or tumor necrosis factor (TNF) alpha. Some studies showed that lower testosterone levels predicted fatigue, but others did not.

Of all the factors considered, psychological disorders—particularly depression and anxiety—had the strongest and most consistent connection with fatigue. Sleep problems also predicted fatigue. Though the total hours a person slept didn’t have an impact, people who napped during the daytime were more likely to suffer with the problem.

Finally, while a number of treatments for fatigue were explored in the studies, medication was not consistently helpful. Medications with the strongest evidence of fatigue treatment were testosterone and psychostimulants, including Adderall (dextroamphetamine) and Ritalin (methylphenidate hydrochloride). Non-medicinal interventions were more helpful, however, especially cognitive behavioral therapy.

Graded exercise therapy (GET) is another possible option to fight fatigue. With GET, a person logs his or her daily activity and increases it to the point where the exercise begins to worsen symptoms. GET has been successful in HIV-negative people with chronic fatigue syndrome, but no good recent studies focused on HIV-positive people. Though exercise and fatigue studies have been conducted in people with HIV, the authors chose not to include any of them in their analysis, because none used a validated instrument for assessing fatigue either before or during the exercise intervention.

“Currently the evidence for interventions with medication is not strong,” the authors said. “Behavioral interventions and GET seem more promising.”

Because fatigue is so common, and so dramatically reduces a person’s quality of life, the authors urge care providers to assess their patients for the condition. The researchers state that “in case of fatigue, clinicians should not search only for physical mechanisms, but should question depression and anxiety in detail.”

Finally, the authors are calling on researchers to develop an evidence-based approach to screening and treating fatigue in people with HIV.

Search: Fatigue, HIV, Eefje Jong, depression, anxiety, race, Adderall, Ritalin, psychostimulants, testosterone, graded exercise therapy, GED, psychological, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis B, liver


Scroll down to comment on this story.



Name:

(will display; 2-50 characters)

Email:

(will NOT display)

City:

(will display; optional)

Comment (500 characters left):

(Note: The POZ team reviews all comments before they are posted. Please do not include either ":" or "@" in your comment. The opinions expressed by people providing comments are theirs alone. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Smart + Strong, which is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by people providing comments.)

Comments require captcha.
Please enter this number for verification:

| Posting Rules



Show comments (21 total)

 
[Go to top]


Join POZ Facebook Twitter Google+ MySpace YouTube Tumblr Flickr
Quick Links
Current Issue

HIV Testing
Safer Sex
Find a Date
Newly Diagnosed
HIV 101
Disclosing Your Status
Starting Treatment
Help Paying for Meds
Search for the Cure
POZ Stories
POZ Opinion
POZ Exclusives
Read the Blogs
Visit the Forums
Job Listings
Events Calendar


    dversescott
    Baltimore
    Maryland


    Poz_Qt
    Columbus
    Ohio


    ernienyc
    Bronx
    New York


    HOTROD2010
    houston
    Texas
Click here to join POZ Personals!
Ask POZ Pharmacist

Talk to Us
Poll
Will decriminalizing injection drug use help end the global HIV epidemic?
Yes
No

Survey
PrEP Course

more surveys
Contact Us
We welcome your comments!
[ about Smart + Strong | about POZ | POZ advisory board | partner links | advertising policy | advertise/contact us | site map]
© 2014 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved. Terms of use and Your privacy.
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.