HIV-infected patients more prone to fractures

August 29th, 2008 - 11:27 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, Aug 29 (IANS) HIV patients face a 60 percent greater risk of hip and spine fractures compared to patients without this condition, according to the latest study on the subject.”This is the largest investigation to compare fracture rates in HIV-infected patients with those of non-infected controls,” said Steven Grinspoon of the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Neuroendocrine Unit and Program in Nutritional Metabolism, a co-author of the study.

“This very large study group - with more than 8,500 HIV-infected patients and over two million controls - has the power to detect significant differences in risk for both men and women at critical sites such as the hip and spine, risks that increased with age.”

For the current study, which will appear in the September issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, the investigators utilised the Partners HealthCare System Research Patient Data Registry, which includes demographic and diagnostic information on patients treated at MGH and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Their analysis of data from patients treated over an 11-year period revealed that nearly three percent of HIV patients were diagnosed with fractures of the hip, spine or wrist, while fracture prevalence was only 1.8 percent in non-HIV-infected patients.

HIV-associated increases in fracture rates were seen in both men - three percent versus 1.8 percent - and women - 2.5 percent versus 1.7 percent; and the increased risk was even more pronounced in older patients.

“These data indicate that we should screen HIV-infected patients, both men and women, for low bone density as they age.” Grinspoon said.

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