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 20 February 2018

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News

Impact of diarrhea on health-related quality of life in HIV-infected patients

June's issue of the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology compares the prevalence of diarrhea among HIV-infected and uninfected patients

News image

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

Dr Uzma Siddiqui and colleagues conducted a study to not only compare the prevalence of diarrhea among HIV-infected and uninfected patients in the HAART era, but also to evaluate the impact of diarrhea on health-related quality of life.

Diarrheal symptoms experienced by 163 consecutive HIV-infected patients and 253 HIV-seronegative control subjects were ascertained using a validated questionnaire.

Diarrhea is still significantly more common in HIV-infected patients
Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology

The health-related quality of life of these patients was assessed using the Medical Outcomes Study (MOS) SF-36 and MOS-HIV Health surveys.

Among the 163 HIV-infected patients, the median CD4 cell count was 370 cells/mm³ and, out of the 163 patients, 150 individuals were taking HAART.

Significantly more HIV-infected subjects reported having 3 or more bowel movements daily within the past 7 days than HIV-seronegative subjects did (28.2% vs. 7.1%, P<0.001), even after adjusting for potential confounding variables (odds ratios=6.65; 95% confidence intervals, 3.36-13.17).

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

HIV-infected patients reported notably worse health-related quality of lives across all domains of the MOS SF-36, as compared with control subjects.

Among HIV-infected patients, those individuals with diarrhea had significantly worse health-related quality of lives in nearly all domains of the MOS-HIV, when compared with those without diarrhea.

Dr Siddiqui concluded that, "Diarrhea still remains an important clinical problem in HIV-infected patients, and is associated with significant impairment in health-related quality of life".

It is important that healthcare providers specifically evaluate their HIV-infected patients for diarrhea, so that this symptom may be managed optimally .

Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology 2007; 41 (5), 484-490
28 August 2007

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