High Prevalence of Diabetes among People with HIV

Diabetes is present in one-tenth of US adults being treated for HIV infection, suggests a study in BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care.

The researchers compared the weighted prevalence of diabetes in two populations from nationally representative studies: 8610 HIV-infected adults from the Medical Monitoring Project and 5604 general population subjects from the National Health and Nutrition Survey (2009-10 data from both studies). Diabetes was assessed as a physician diagnosis or use of medications for diabetes.

The unadjusted prevalence of diabetes among HIV-positive adults was 10.3%, compared to 8.3% in the general population sample. On adjusted analysis, diabetes prevalence was 3.8% higher in HIV-infected adults. Subgroups of HIV-positive subjects showed even larger differences: 5.0% in women, 4.1% in those aged 20 to 44, and 3.5% in nonobese subjects. Factors independently associated with diabetes in the HIV-positive population included older age, obesity, longer time since HIV diagnosis, and geometric mean CD4 cell count.

As patients with HIV infection live longer, they are at risk of chronic metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. The new study shows that US adults with HIV infection have an increased prevalence of diabetes compared to the general population.

Adults with HIV are more likely to deveop diabetes at younger age and in the absence of obesity. The authors suggest further studies to determine whether HIV should be regarded as an additional risk factor for diabetes, and to identify optimal treatment strategies for HIV-positive diabetic patients [Hernandez-Romieu AC, et al. Is diabetes prevalence higher among HIV-infected individuals compared with the general population? Evidence from MMP and NHANES 2009–2010. BMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care. 2017; 5:e000304. doi: 10.1136/bmjdrc-2016-000304].