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The clinical utility of three frailty measures in identifying HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders.

AIDS 2023 December 5
OBJECTIVE: Frailty measures vary widely and the optimal measure for predicting HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) is unclear.

DESIGN: A study was conducted to examine the clinical utility of three widely used frailty measures in identifying HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders.

METHODS: The study involved 284 people with HIV (PWH) at least 50 years enrolled at UC San Diego's HIV Neurobehavioral Research Program. Frailty measurements included the Fried Phenotype, the Rockwood Frailty Index, and the Veterans Aging Cohort Study (VACS) Index. HAND was diagnosed according to Frascati criteria. ANOVAs examined differences in frailty severity across HAND conditions. ROC analyses evaluated sensitivity and specificity of each measure to detect symptomatic HAND [mild neurocognitive disorder (MND) and HIV-associated dementia (HAD)] from no HAND.

RESULTS: Across all frailty measures, frailty was found to be higher in HAD compared with no HAND. For Fried and Rockwood (not VACS), frailty was significantly more severe in MND vs. no HAND and in HAD vs. ANI (asymptomatic neurocognitive impairment). For discriminating symptomatic HAND from no HAND, Fried was 37% sensitive and 92% specific, Rockwood was 85% sensitive and 43% specific, and VACS was 58% sensitive and 65% specific.

CONCLUSION: These findings demonstrate that Fried and Rockwood outperform VACS in predicting HAND. However, ROC analyses suggest none of the indices had adequate predictive validity in detecting HAND. The results indicate that the combined use of the Rockwood and Fried indices may be an appropriate alternative.

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