Low bone mineral density
(BMD) has been described in people living with HIV
(PLWH). We examined the prevalence of low BMD measured by quantitative computed tomography
(QCT), a method that allows 3-dimensional volumetric density measures at the thoracic spine, in well-treated PLWH and uninfected controls and assessed risk factors for reduced BMD.
Cross-sectional study including 718 PLWH from the Copenhagen Co-Morbidity in HIV
infection (COCOMO) study and 718 uninfected controls matched on age and sex from the Copenhagen General Population Study (CGPS). Trabecular BMD was determined by QCT.
Median BMD was 144.2 mg/cm3
in PLWH vs. 146.6 mg/cm3
in controls (P
= 0.580). HIV
status was not associated with BMD in univariable or multivariable linear analyses. However, a higher prevalence of very low BMD (T-score ≤ −2.5) was found in PLWH (17.2% vs. 11.0% in controls, P
= 0.003). In unadjusted analysis, HIV
was associated with very low BMD (odds ratio 1.68 [95% confidence interval: 1.24–2.27], P
= 0.001), but this association was not significant after adjusting for age, sex, smoking, alcohol, body mass index, physical activity, and ethnicity. Previous AIDS-defining disease was associated with lower BMD, but no other associations with HIV
-specific variables were identified.
Using QCT, we found a higher prevalence of very low BMD in PLWH than in controls. However, HIV
status was not independently associated with BMD indicating that traditional risk factors contribute to the difference in prevalence of very low BMD. Focus on improvement of lifestyle factors, especially in PLWH with previous AIDS-defining disease, may prevent very low BMD in PLWH.