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Chronic health conditions in Medicare beneficiaries 65 years and older with HIV infection
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    To examine sociodemographic factors and chronic health conditions of people living with HIV (PLWHIV/HIV+) at least 65 years old and compare their chronic disease prevalence with beneficiaries without HIV.


    National fee-for-service Medicare claims data (parts A and B) from 2006 to 2009 were used to create a retrospective cohort of beneficiaries at least 65 years old.


    Beneficiaries with an inpatient or skilled nursing facility claim, or outpatient claims with HIV diagnosis codes were considered HIV+. HIV+ beneficiaries were compared with uninfected beneficiaries on demographic factors and on the prevalence of hypertension, hyperlipidemia, ischemic heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis/osteoarthritis, and diabetes. Odds ratios (OR), 95% confidence intervals (CIs), and P values were calculated. Adjustment variables included age, sex, race/ethnicity, end stage renal disease (ESRD), and dual Medicare–Medicaid enrollment. Chronic conditions were examined individually and as an index from zero to all five conditions.


    Of 29 060 418 eligible beneficiaries, 24 735 (0.09%) were HIV+. HIV+ beneficiaries were more likely to be Hispanic, African-American, male, and younger (P > 0.0001) and were 1.5–2.1 times as likely to have a chronic disease [diabetes (adjusted OR) 1.51, 95% CI (1.47, 1.55):rheumatoid arthritis/osteoarthritis 2.14, 95% CI (2.08, 2.19)], and 2.4–7 times as likely to have 1–5 comorbid chronic conditions [1 condition (adjusted OR) 2.38, 95% CI (2.21, 2.57): 5 conditions 7.07, 95% CI (6.61, 7.56)].


    Our results show that PLWHIV at least 65 years old are at higher risk of comorbidities than other fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries. This finding has implications for the cost and health management of PLWHIV 65 years and older.

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