The number of older adults with HIV is increasing. The authors conducted a retrospective study to determine the prevalence of selected comorbidities that may affect the delivery of oral health care to this population.
The authors reviewed the charts of 162 patients with HIV who were 50 years or older who had sought dental treatment from 2000 through 2006. The authors abstracted patients' self-reported clinical comorbidities and laboratory-verified HIV-related and hematologic values.
A total of 88.8 percent of the study subjects had at least one comorbidity. Comorbidity prevalence was 44.4 percent for hepatitis C virus, 41.4 percent for hypertension, 16.7 percent for psychiatric disorders, 16.1 percent for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, 15.4 percent for anemia and 14.8 percent for heart disease. Significantly more subjects with a CD4+ cell count of less than 200 per cubic millimeter were anemic compared with subjects with counts of 200/mm(3) or more.
HIV-positive patients 50 years or older have a broad range of comorbidities that may affect the provision of oral health care.
Whether these patients have clinically severe or less well-controlled comorbidities that may require modification of oral health care treatment remains to be determined.