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News

Diarrhea in HIV-infection reduces health-related quality of life

HIV-infected patients with diarrhea have worse health-related quality of life than HIV-infected patients without diarrhea, reports the latest Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology.

News image

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Before the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy, the majority of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients experienced diarrhea.

Dr Uzma Siddiqui and colleagues compared the prevalence of diarrhea among HIV-infected and uninfected patients in the highly active antiretroviral therapy era.

The research team evaluated the impact of diarrhea on health-related quality of life in these patients.

HIV-infected patients with diarrhea had worse health-related quality of life
Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology

The team evaluated 163 consecutive HIV-infected patients, and 253 HIV-seronegative control subjects.

The researchers ascertained diarrheal symptoms experienced by the patients using a validated questionnaire.

The health-related quality of life of these patients was assessed using the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-36 and Medical Outcomes Study-HIV Health surveys.

The researchers found among the 163 HIV-infected patients, the median CD4 cell count was 370 cells/mm3.

The team reported that 150 individuals were taking highly active antiretroviral therapy.

Significantly more HIV-infected subjects reported having 3 or more bowel movements daily within the past 7 days than did HIV-seronegative subjects.

This difference between the groups persisted even after adjusting for potential confounding variables.

In addition, the team observed that diarrhea was more common in HIV-infected patients than in control subjects when assessed by several other criteria.

HIV-infected patients reported significantly worse health-related quality of life across all domains of the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-36.

The researchers noted that HIV-infected patients with diarrhea had worse health-related quality of life in nearly all domains of the Medical Outcomes Study-HIV Health Survey.

Dr Siddiqui's team concluded," Diarrhea remains an important clinical problem in HIV-infected patients."

"Diarrhea is associated with significant impairments in health-related quality of life."

"It is important that healthcare providers specifically evaluate their HIV-infected patients for diarrhea so that these symptoms may be optimally managed."

J Clin Gastroenterol 2007: 41(5): 484-90
08 May 2007

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