Cognitive Function in Young Persons With and Without Perinatal HIV in the AALPHI Cohort in England: Role of Non–HIV-Related Factors

Judd, Ali, Le Prevost, Marthe, Melvin, Diane, Arenas-Pinto, Alejandro, Parrott, Francesca, Winston, Alan, Foster, Caroline, Sturgeon, Kate, Rowson, Katie orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-8205-2853 et al (2016) Cognitive Function in Young Persons With and Without Perinatal HIV in the AALPHI Cohort in England: Role of Non–HIV-Related Factors. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 63 (10). pp. 1380-1387. ISSN 1058-4838

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Background. There is limited evidence about the cognitive performance of older adolescents with perinatally acquired human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) compared with HIV-negative (HIV−) adolescents.

Methods. A total of 296 perinatally HIV-infected (PHIV+) and 97 HIV− adolescents (aged 12–21 and 13–23 years, respectively) completed 12 tests covering 6 cognitive domains. The HIV− participants had PHIV+ siblings and/or an HIV-infected mother. Domain-specific and overall (NPZ-6) z scores were calculated for PHIV+ participants, with or without Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stage C disease, and HIV− participants. Linear regression was performed to explore predictors of NPZ-6.

Results. One hundred twenty-five (42%) of the PHIV+ and 31 (32%) of the HIV− participants were male; 251 (85%) and 69 (71%), respectively, were black African; and their median ages (interquartile range) were 16 (15–18) and 16 (14–18) years, respectively. In PHIV+ participants, 247 (86%) were receiving antiretroviral therapy, and 76 (26%) had a previous CDC C diagnosis. The mean (standard deviation) NPZ-6 score was −0.81 (0.99) in PHIV+ participants with a CDC C diagnosis (PHIV+/C), −0.45 (0.80) in those without a CDC C diagnosis (PHIV+/no C), and −0.32 (0.76) in HIV− participants (P < .001). After adjustment, there was no difference in NPZ-6 scores between PHIV+/no C and HIV− participants (adjusted coefficient, −0.01; 95% confidence interval, −.22 to .20). PHIV+/C participants scored below the HIV− group (adjusted coefficient, −0.44; −.70 to −.19). Older age predicted higher NPZ-6 scores, and black African ethnicity and worse depression predicted lower NPZ-6 scores. In a sensitivity analysis including PHIV+ participants only, no HIV-related factors apart from a CDC C diagnosis were associated with NPZ-6 scores.

Conclusions. Cognitive performance was similar between PHIV+/no C and HIV− participants and indicated relatively mild impairment compared with normative data. The true impact on day-to-day functioning needs further investigation.

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