Frailty, Inflammation, and Mortality Among Persons Aging With HIV Infection and Injection Drug Use

Damani A Piggott, Ravi Varadhan, Shruti H Mehta, Todd T Brown, Huifen Li, Jeremy D Walston, Sean X Leng, Gregory D Kirk
Journals of Gerontology. Series A, Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 2015, 70 (12): 1542-7

BACKGROUND: Serum markers of inflammation increase with age and have been strongly associated with adverse clinical outcomes among both HIV-infected and uninfected adults. Yet, limited data exist on the predictive and clinical utility of aggregate measures of inflammation. This study sought to evaluate the relationship of a recently validated aggregate inflammatory index with frailty and mortality among aging HIV-infected and uninfected injection drug users.

METHODS: Frailty was assessed among HIV-infected and uninfected participants in the AIDS Linked to the IntraVenous Experience (ALIVE) cohort study using the five Fried phenotypic criteria: weight loss, exhaustion, low physical activity, decreased grip strength, and slow gait. The aggregate inflammatory index was constructed from serum measures of interleukin-6 and soluble tumor necrosis factor-α receptor-1. Multinomial logistic regression was used to assess the relationship of frailty with inflammation. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate risk for all-cause mortality.

RESULTS: Among 1,326 subjects, the median age was 48 years and 29% were HIV-infected. Adjusting for sociodemographics, comorbidity, and HIV status, frailty was significantly associated with each standard deviation increase in log interleukin-6 (odds ratio 1.33; 95% CI, 1.09-1.61), log tumor necrosis factor-α receptor-1 (odds ratio 1.25; 95% CI, 1.04-1.51) and inflammatory index score (odds ratio 1.39; 95% CI, 1.14-1.68). Adjusting for sociodemographics, comorbidity, HIV status, and frailty, the inflammatory index score was independently associated with increased mortality (HR 1.65; 95% CI, 1.44-1.89).

CONCLUSION: A recently validated, simple, biologically informed inflammatory index is independently associated with frailty and mortality risk among aging HIV-infected and uninfected injection drug users.

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