Publications

Publications

Pain in people living with HIV and its association with healthcare resource use, mental health and functional status

Pain in people living with HIV and its association with healthcare resource use, mental health and functional status

Authors

Sabin CA, Harding R, Bagkeris E, Nkhoma K, Post FA, Sachikonye M, Boffito M, Anderson J, Mallon PWG, Williams I, Vera J, Johnson M, Babalis D, Winston A.

Lay summary

There have been several reports that people with HIV tend to have high levels of pain, although it is not known whether this pain is more common than in the general population.  We found that a high proportion (60-70%) of all POPPY participants had experienced some pain in the last month, with 40-50% having pain at the time of the baseline visit.  Although pain was common in all three of the POPPY sub-cohorts (older people with HIV, younger people with HIV and people without HIV), after taking other factors into account, older people with HIV were somewhat more likely to report pain compared to the other groups.   Pain had negative consequences: it was associated with missed days of work or study, doctor appointments, more symptoms of depression and poorer quality of life.  Our findings highlight the need to investigate pain in people with HIV and to find effective ways for people with HIV to manage their pain.

Read more about ou ongoing research on pain in the POPPY study here...

Research theme

People living with or without HIV with similar lifestyles both show greater age advancement compared to blood donors

People living with or without HIV with similar lifestyles both show greater age advancement compared to blood donors

Authors

De Francesco D, Wit FW, Bürkle A, Oehlke S, Kootstra NA, Winston A, Franceschi C, Garagnani P, Pirazzini C, Libert C, Grune T, Weber D, Jansen EHJM, Sabin CA, Reiss P.

Lay summary

It has been shown that it is possible to get an idea of how well a person is ageing by measuring a set of markers in the blood and by using these markers to calculate an aging ‘score’ for that person.  By comparing this score to the person’s actual age, we can see whether they appear to be ageing more quickly or more slowly than a typical person of that age.  We calculated these scores in people in the COBRA study as well as in a comparison group of blood donors from the Netherlands.  People with HIV in COBRA tended to be biologically ‘older’ than their true age – however, this was also the case for the people without HIV in COBRA (although the group of people without HIV had not aged quite as quickly as those with HIV.  In contrast, the blood donors had agedound to be biologically ‘younger’ than their true age.  Our findings suggest that HIV may not be the main factor that leads to premature aging in PLWH. 

Research theme

Medicalising normality? Using a simulated dataset to assess the performance of different diagnostic criteria of HIV-associated cognitive impairment.

Medicalising normality? Using a simulated dataset to assess the performance of different diagnostic criteria of HIV-associated cognitive impairment.

Authors

Underwood J, De Francesco D, Leech R, Sabin CA, Winston A; Pharmacokinetic and Clinical Observations in PeoPle Over fiftY (POPPY) study.

Lay summary

Published research suggests that there is a very high rate of brain problems in people with HIV.  However, the reported rate of brain problems depends very heavily on the way in which we interpret the tests that are performed.  We used a simulated dataset, generated so that it is very similar to the data collected in the POPPY study, to show that the usual approaches to defining brain problems will dramatically over-estimate the proportion of people with real problems.  This will have important implications for people with HIV (some of whom may be falsely told that they have brain problems), for their doctors and for researchers.  We propose a new method to define brain problems that provides a more reliable indication of whether or not a person truly has problems with their brain.

The ‘ComorBidity in Relation to AIDS’ (COBRA) cohort: design, methods and participant characteristics

The ‘ComorBidity in Relation to AIDS’ (COBRA) cohort: design, methods and participant characteristics

Authors

De Francesco D, Wit FW, Cole JH, Kootstra NA, Winston A, Sabin CA, Underwood J, van Zoest RA, Schouten J, Kooij KW, Prins M, Guaraldi G, Caan MWA, Burger D, Franceschi C, Libert C, Bürkle A, Reiss P.

Lay summary

This paper describes the design and set-up of the COmorBidity in Relation to AIDS (COBRA) Study.  The study includes 134 older people with HIV (including 59 POPPY participants) and 79 people without HIV of a similar age (29 POPPY participants).  The paper provides a description of the characteristics of these people and compares them to the larger group of people who are in the ‘parent’ studies (POPPY in the UK, and the AGEhiV study in the Netherlands).  The characteristics of the COBRA participants were broadly similar to those of the bigger groups, suggesting that any study findings will have direct relevance to the wider population of older people with HIV.  The cohort will be a useful resource for future research on HIV and ageing, and this paper can be referred to when describing the cohort.

Research theme