A group of largely middle-aged Italians living with HIV experienced a considerable increase in rates of reduced kidney function, cardiovascular disease (CVD) and high blood pressure over the course of a decade, aidsmap reports.

Publishing their findings in HIV Medicine, researchers analyzed cross-sectional data taken in 2004 and again in 2014 regarding 1,517 HIV-positive participants of the Italian ICONA cohort. One third of the cohort was female. The median age was 41 years old in 2004 (the 25thto 75thpercentiles were between 37 and 46 years old) and 51 years old in 2014.

In 2004, 79 percent of the cohort was on antiretroviral treatment, a figure that increased to 98 percent by 2014.

Between the studies’ two time points, the prevalence of: dyslipidemia (irregular cholesterol or triglycerides) increased from 75 percent to 91 percent; high blood pressure increased from 67 percent to 84 percent; CVD increased from 18 percent to 32 percent; and reduced kidney function (an eGFR below 60 milliliters per minute per 1.73 meters squared) increased from 5 percent to 30 percent.

Additionally, during this decadelong period, the proportion of the cohort considered to be at high risk for a cardiovascular health event according to the Framingham scoring system increased from 13 percent to 45 percent.

The study authors concluded that the increased prevalence of all these negative health outcomes might have been partly driven by aging but was also driven by living with the virus.

To read the study abstract, click here.

To read the aidsmap article, click here.