Assessing the health status and mortality of older people over 65 with HIV

HRSA-Authored Article



PLoS One

Publication Year



Background: Nearly half of people with HIV in the United States are 50 years or older, and this proportion is growing. Between 2012 and 2016, the largest percent increase in the prevalence rate of HIV was among people aged 65 and older, the eligibility age for Medicare coverage for individuals without a disability or other qualifying condition. Previous work suggests that older people with HIV may have higher rates of chronic conditions and develop them more rapidly than older people who do not have HIV. This study compared the health status of older people with HIV with the older US population not living with HIV by comparing: (1) mortality; (2) prevalence of certain conditions, and (3) incidence of these conditions with increasing age.

Methods and Findings: We used a sample of Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 and older from the Medicare Master Beneficiary Summary File for the years 2011 to 2016, including 100% of individuals with HIV (N = 43,708), as well as a random 1% sample of individuals without diagnosed HIV (N = 1,029,518). We conducted a survival analysis using a Cox proportional hazards model to assess mortality and to determine the need to adjust for differential mortality in our analyses of the incidence of certain chronic conditions. These results showed that Medicare beneficiaries living with HIV have a significantly higher hazard of mortality compared to older people without diagnosed HIV (3.6 times the hazard). We examined the prevalence of these conditions using logistic regression analysis and found that people with HIV have a statistically significant higher odds of depression, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), osteoporosis, hypertension, ischemic heart disease, diabetes, chronic hepatitis, end-stage liver disease, lung cancer, and colorectal cancer. To look at the rate at which older people are diagnosed with conditions as they age, we used a Fine-Gray competing risk model and showed that for individuals without diagnosis of a given condition at age 65, the future incidence of that condition over the remaining study period was higher for people with HIV even after adjusting for differential hazard of mortality and for other demographic characteristics. Many of these results also varied by personal characteristics including Medicaid dual enrollment, sex, and race and ethnicity, as well as by condition.

Conclusions: Increasing access to care and improving health outcomes for people with HIV is a critical goal of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy 2020. It is important for clinicians and policymakers to be aware that despite significant advances in the treatment and care of people with HIV, older people with HIV have a higher odds of having multiple chronic conditions at any point in time, a higher incidence of new diagnoses of these conditions over time, and a higher hazard of mortality than Medicare beneficiaries without HIV.

PubMed Link

Assessing the health status and mortality of older people over 65 with HIV


Comorbidities, HIV Clinical Outcomes, Key Populations