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People living with HIV and fracture risk

Premaor MO1Compston JE2.

Osteoporos Int. 2020 Mar 23. doi: 10.1007/s00198-020-05350-y. [Epub ahead of print]



PLHIV have an increased risk of osteoporosis and fractures when compared with people of the same age and sex. In this review, we address the epidemiology and the pathophysiology of bone disease and fractures in PLHIV. The assessment of fracture risk and fracture prevention in these subjects is also discussed. The spectrum of HIV-associated disease has changed dramatically since the introduction of potent antiretroviral drugs. Today, the survival of people living with HIV (PLHIV) is close to that of the general population. However, the longer life-span in PLHIV is accompanied by an increased prevalence of chronic diseases. Detrimental effects on bone health are well recognised, with an increased risk of osteoporosis and fractures, including vertebral fractures, compared to the general population. The causes of bone disease in PLHIV are not fully understood, but include HIV-specific risk factors such as use of antiretrovirals and the presence of chronic inflammation, as well as traditional risk factors for fracture. Current guidelines recommend the use of FRAX to assess fracture probability in PLHIV age ≥ 40 years and measurement of bone mineral density in those at increased fracture risk. Vitamin D deficiency, if present, should be treated. Bisphosphonates have been shown to increase bone density in PLHIV although fracture outcomes are not available.