PLWH, Aging and the Effects of COVID-19 Outcomes

For people living with HIV (PLWH) an accelerated aging process may affect the severity of their disease.

PLWH may have an accelerated aging process and this could affect the severity of COVID-19. Investigators from the University of South Carolina and the University of Washington wanted to see if this population were more likely to have a more severe case of COVID-19. Adverse outcomes were identified as hospitalization and mortality.

Based upon their study’s findings, they wrote, Impact of Aging in HIV on COVID-19 Outcomes via a Matched Study, a poster that was presented at the 2022 Annual Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infection (CROI).

The investigators utilized the National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C) to identify COVID-19 patients. From the N3C, 2,422,864 adults diagnosed with COVID-19 were identified between Jan 1, 2020, and Oct 18, 2021. Within this cohort, 15,188 were PLWH.

The investigators matched the PLWH and non-PLWH COVID-19 based on age, gender, race and ethnicity.

“ PLWH had higher odds of both adverse COVID-19 outcomes [hospitalization: OR: 1.50, 95%CI: (1.42, 1.58); death: OR: 1.48, 95%CI: (1.29, 1.69)],” the investigators wrote. Specifically, PLWH with a recent CD4 count < 200 had worse COVID- 19 clinical outcomes, they reported.

Of the PLWH, 6,219 (40.9%) had CD4 count records within 180 days prior to COVID-19 diagnosis, among which, 872 (14.0%) had the most recent CD4 count <200 cells/mm3 while 5,347 (86.0%) had CD4 counts ≥200 cells/mm3.

“Compared to non-PLWH, PLWH had significantly high COVID-19 related mortality and hospitalization,” the investigators concluded.