To characterize comorbid disease and medication burden among women
living with HIV
(WLWH) in British Columbia (BC), Canada.
We examined baseline data from 267 WLWH and 276 HIV
, aged at least 19 years, enrolled in the Children and Women
: Antiretrovirals and Markers of Aging
Self-reported demographic, medical condition, medication, vitamin, and substance exposure data were collected at baseline CARMA study visits. We considered conditions with appropriate concomitant medications to be ‘treated’. Wilcoxon rank-sum and Fisher's exact tests compared continuous and categorical variables between WLWH and HIV
. Number of diagnoses, prescribed medications (excluding HIV
/antiretrovirals), vitamins, and prevalence of depression/anxiety/panic disorder were compared using negative binomial and logistic regressions for continuous and binary variables, respectively.
WLWH were younger [median, interquartile range (IQR) 39.9, 33.6–46.9 vs. 43.6, 31.8–54.6 years; P
= 0.01], attained lower education (40.5 vs. 69.6% college/university; P
< 0.001), and more often currently smoked tobacco (47.9 vs. 31.9%; P
< 0.001) or had income less than $15 000/year (49.0 vs. 43.1%; P
< 0.001). Although younger, and despite omitting HIV
infection, WLWH had a greater number of diagnoses (incidence rate ratio, 95% confidence interval 1.58, 1.38–1.81; P
< 0.001), and more depression/anxiety/panic disorder vs. controls (odds ratio, 95% CI 1.86, 1.22–2.83; P
= 0.004). Our model predicts that with mean BMI (26.3), WLWH and HIV
-negative peers would have two comorbid diagnoses by age 30 and 60, respectively.
WLWH living in BC have more comorbid illness earlier in life than their HIV
-negative peers, and have very high rates of depression/anxiety/panic disorder. Addressing mental health and comorbid conditions is essential to improving health outcomes among WLWH.