Introduction: Prevalence estimates of osteopenia and osteoporosis (reduced bone mineral density; BMD) in HIV-infected patients and the role of antiretroviral therapy (ART) varies in the literature.
Methods: We conducted a meta-analytical review of cross-sectional studies published in English to determine the pooled odds ratios (OR) of reduced BMD and osteoporosis in the following groups: HIV-positive versus HIV-negative; ART-treated versus ART-naive; protease inhibitor (PI)-treated versus PI-untreated. We searched the MEDLINE, PubMed, and EMBASE databases for eligible references between January 1966 and November 2005. Random effects models were used to generate pooled OR estimates and confidence intervals.
Results: Of 37 articles identified, 20 met the inclusion criteria. Of the 884 HIV-infected patients, 67% had reduced BMD, of whom 15% had osteoporosis, yielding a pooled OR of 6.4 and 3.7, respectively, compared with HIV-uninfected controls (n = 654) using 11 studies with available data. Compared with ART-naive patients (n = 202, 10 studies), ART-treated individuals (n = 824) had a 2.5-fold increased odds of prevalent reduced BMD. The risk of prevalent osteoporosis (seven studies) was similarly elevated in ART-treated individuals. Compared with non-PI-treated HIV patients (n = 410, 14 studies), PI-treated patients (n = 791) had increased odds of reduced BMD and osteoporosis (12 studies). Few studies adjusted for important covariates such as HIV disease severity or treatment duration.
Conclusion: The prevalence of osteoporosis in HIV-infected individuals is more than three times greater compared with HIV-uninfected controls. ART-exposed and PI-exposed individuals had a higher prevalence of reduced BMD and osteoporosis compared with their respective controls. The influence of other disease and treatment variables on these estimates could not be determined.