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Comorbidities in a sample of adults with HIV in Puerto Rico: an exploratory study

Authors Rodríguez-Díaz CE, Santiago-Rodríguez EI, Jovet-Toledo GG, Santana-Bagur J, Ron-Suarez Y, Orengo JC, Arbelaez F, Monsanto H

Received 12 February 2019

Accepted for publication 2 July 2019

Published 24 July 2019 Volume 2019:11 Pages 155—164


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Bassel Sawaya

Carlos E Rodríguez-Díaz,1,2 Edda I Santiago-Rodríguez,3 Gerardo G Jovet-Toledo,2 Jorge Santana-Bagur,4 Yemile Ron-Suarez,5 Juan C Orengo,6 Felipe Arbelaez,5 Homero Monsanto5

1The George Washington University, Milken Institute School of Public Health, Washington, DC, USA; 2University of Puerto Rico-medical Sciences Campus, School of Public Health, San Juan, PR, USA; 3University of California, San Francisco, Center for Aids Prevention Studies, San Francisco, CA, USA; 4University of Puerto Rico-medical Sciences Campus, School of Medicine, San Juan, PR, USA; 5Merck & Co., Inc., Medical Affairs, Carolina, PR, USA; 6Ponce Health Sciences University, Public Health Program, Ponce, PR, USA

Background: Puerto Rico is among the areas with the highest estimated rates of people living with HIV in the United States. Despite the epidemiologic data available, there is limited real-world information that can help understand the comorbidities of people with HIV. In this study, we describe common comorbidities among adults with HIV attending treatment clinics in Puerto Rico.
Methods: An exploratory, retrospective, cross-sectional study was conducted at five HIV clinics in Puerto Rico. A random sample of medical records was reviewed. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize patient demographics, morbidity, and clinical characteristics. Multivariate analyses were conducted to explore comorbidities by age and sex.
Results: A total of 250 (179 men; 71 women) medical records were reviewed. Participants’ mean age was 47.9 years and on average they had been living with HIV for 9 years. Most (97.6%) had at least one comorbidity. The most common comorbidities were dyslipidemia and hypertension. Men were more likely to have been diagnosed with alcohol misuse while women were more likely to have been diagnosed with obesity, human papillomavirus (HPV), hypothyroidism, and osteoporosis. Participants younger than 50 years of age were more likely to have history of alcohol misuse while older individuals (50 years and old) were more likely to have been diagnosed with dyslipidemia, hypertension, and diabetes. Adjusting by sex and age, women were more likely to have been diagnosed with obesity and depression and those older than 50 years were more likely to have had a diagnosis of dyslipidemia, hypertension, HPV, and diabetes.
Conclusions: This is one of the few studies assessing comorbidities among adults with HIV in Puerto Rico, among Latino/Hispanics within the United States, and Latin America. Consistent with other studies, cardiovascular diseases are common among adults with HIV in Puerto Rico. Findings support the need for awareness and real-world evidence about comorbidities among people with HIV when implementing screenings and prescribing drugs.

Keywords: HIV, comorbidities, Puerto Rico

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