Heroin use, AIDS, predict reduced bone mineral density in older men with HIV

Published: August 24, 2010

Older HIV-positive men have lower bone mineral density than their HIV-negative peers, a US study published in the online edition of AIDS shows. The study population involved men with, or at risk of, HIV who were aged over 49. Advanced HIV disease and heroin use were associated with bone loss monitored during follow-up.

“Heroin users with AIDS may be at particular risk of bone loss,” comment the investigators.

The proportion of HIV infections involving older adults is increasing. There is currently uncertainty if those living with HIV will be at greater risk of developing diseases associated with ageing, such as bone loss.

Older patients with HIV, or at risk of the infection because of injecting drug use, have a number of risk factors for bone loss including low body weight, low testosterone levels, smoking, alcoholism and poor nutrition.

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