2017 Issues   /   Late Breaking News

COPD Associated With Frailty in HIV-Infected Veterans

USM By U.S. Medicine
January 21, 2017

WEST HAVEN, CT—With chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) prevalence increasing among aging HIV-infected patients, a recent study sought to determine how that relates to frailty in veterans treated at the VA.

The study, published in the journal AIDS, determined the association between COPD and self-reported measures of frailty—adapted frailty-related phenotype (aFRP) —and physical limitation, and a clinical biomarker of physiologic frailty from the [Veterans Aging Cohort Study (VACS) Index in HIV-infected veterans, comparing them with uninfected counterparts.1

For cross-sectional study of VACS participants between 2002 and 2012, researchers from the VA Connecticut Healthcare System obtained pre-frail/aFRP from self-reported surveys, defining the condition as one or two domains of physical shrinking, exhaustion, slowness and low physical activity. At the same time, aFRP was defined as at least three domains.

Physical limitation scale was determined from 12 self-reported survey items assessing limitations performing physical activities. The VACS index, meanwhile, includes age and laboratory measurements.

Included in the study were 3,538 HIV-infected and 3,606 uninfected participants, mostly men and majority (67% and 63%, respectively) black. Of the HIV-infected group, 4% had COPD, as did 5% of the control.

Results indicate that COPD was associated with increased pre-frail and aFRP in HIV-infected and uninfected participants. COPD also was associated with physical limitation in both groups.

“There was an interaction between COPD and physical limitation by HIV status with increased physical limitation among HIV-infected participants (P = 0.04),” according to the researchers, who add that COPD was not associated with VACS index.

“COPD was strongly associated with aFRP and physical limitations,” study authors note. “COPD management may mediate frailty through functional limitations rather than physiologic biomarkers, especially in HIV-infected individuals.”

  1. Akgün KM, Tate JP, Oursler KK, Crystal S, Leaf DA, Womack JA, Brown TT, Justice AC, Crothers K. Association of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with frailty measurements in HIV-infected and uninfected Veterans. AIDS. 2016 Sep 10;30(14):2185-93. doi: 10.1097/QAD.0000000000001162. PubMed PMID: 27191979.

Related Articles

Despite Overall Longevity Trends, Mortality Increases for Schizophrenia Patients

Since the 1970s, mortality rates have declined, extending average lifespan by almost a decade.

No Link Found Between H. Pylori Infection, Unexplained Anemia

Despite limited evidence to support the practice, testing for Helicobacter pylori (Hp) infection is recommended for work-up of unexplained iron deficiency anemia (IDA).


U.S. Medicine Recommends


More From department of veterans affairs

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Fibromyalgia Presents Differently in Male, Female Veterans

Research on fibromyalgia, a poorly understood, chronically disabling pain syndrome, generally has focused on its clinical presentation and treatment.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

How Veterans Feel About Remote Management of Their Care

The VA is expanding remote management of patients to improve disease prevention and care.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Stick-on Monitors Help Warn of Heart Failure Exacerbation in VA Study

While implantable devices have shown promise in reducing rehospitalization for heart failure (HF), VA researchers sought to determine if options that are less expensive and non-invasive would have comparable results.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Legislation: Clinicians Must Be Involved in Formulary Design, Purchasing

Legislation to prevent VA from outsourcing creation of its drug formulary and to require more input from medical professions is being considered in Congress.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

GAO: VA Needs Better Planning for ‘Complex’ Appeals System Overhaul

SYRACUSE, NY — Despite limited evidence to support the practice, testing for Helicobacter pylori (Hp) infection is recommended for work-up of unexplained iron deficiency anemia (IDA). A study published in the journal Gastroenterology Report sought... View Article

Facebook Comment

Subscribe to U.S. Medicine Print Magazine

U.S. Medicine is mailed free each month to physicians, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and administrators working for Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense and U.S. Public Health Service.

Subscribe Now

Receive Our Email Newsletter

Stay informed about federal medical news, clinical updates and reports on government topics for the federal healthcare professional.

Sign Up