Menzaghi, Barbara and Ricci, Elena and Vichi, Francesca and De Sociod, G.V. and Carenzi, Laura and Martinelli, Canio and Franzetti, Marco and Orofino, Giancarlo and Madeddu, Giordano and Parruti, Giustino and Penco, Giovanni and Grosso, Carmela and Di Biagio, Antonio and Bonfanti, Paolo and Quirino, Tiziana (2014) Gender differences in HIV infection: is there a problem? analysis from the SCOLTA cohorts. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, Vol. 68 (3), p. 385-390. ISSN 0753-3322. eISSN 1950-6007. Article.
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Objectives: Evaluate gender differences with regard to baseline characteristics and outcome of therapy in cohorts of the SCOLTA (surveillance cohort long-term toxicity of antiretrovirals) project.
Methods: The SCOLTA project is an active pharmacovigilance system for new antiretroviral drugs. Since 2002, patients were enrolled in nine cohorts (lopinavir, tenofovir, atazanavir, fosamprenavir, enfuvirtide, tipranavir, darunavir, raltegravir and maraviroc).
Results: Two thousand one hundred and fifty-four patients were included in 5 PI cohorts; 607 (28.2%) were female. Women were younger and less frequently HCV-coinfected than men. At study entry, they were less frequently in CDC stage C, but CD4+ cells/mm3 and detectable HIV-RNA were not different by gender. Women had triglycerides alterations less frequently than men, but showed a higher proportion of low HDL-cholesterol. Women were protected from incident grade 2-4 triglycerides increase (odds ratio = 0.39, 95% confidence interval 0.18–0.88; P = 0.02). Mean CD4+ cell count increased in both men and women; despite a non-significantly lower initial CD4+ level, women had a better immunological recovery. Women discontinued PI treatment for adverse events and their own will more frequently.
Conclusions: In these cohorts, gender distribution mirrored the Italian HIV population. Women were younger than men when they started their first ARV therapy and when they entered our cohorts. On the same treatment, they had a better immune response, though no significant difference emerged on virologic control and treatment durability. As compared to men, women appeared at lower risk of hypertriglyceridaemia. They stopped PI-based treatment of their own will more frequently than men, suggesting the need for a focused effort on adherence.
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