Low Levels of Physical Activity Among Older Persons Living with HIV/AIDS Are Associated with Poor Physical Function.
Antiretroviral therapy (ART) has prolonged lives of persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), resulting in greater incidence of aging-related diseases and disability. Physical activity (PA) is recommended for healthy aging, but little is known about PA in older PLWHA. The purpose of this study was to objectively assess PA levels in older PLWHA and the associations with physical function. Twenty-one PLWHA, ≥50 years old, on ART with undetectable HIV-1 viral loads, wore an accelerometer to assess PA, including number of steps, activity intensity, and energy expenditure over 7 days. A physical function performance battery assessing aerobic capacity, strength, and gait speed was also completed. Average age was 66, and 67% were male. An average of 3,442 (interquartile range: 4,613) steps were walked daily, with 254.9 kcals expended. Participants spent most waking hours (75%) sedentary, with minimal hours (24%) in light-intensity activity. Only 5 min per day (35 min per week), on average, were spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Maximal gait speed and 6-min walk test significantly correlated (p < .05) with all PA outcomes. Usual gait speed significantly correlated with all PA outcomes, except for daily kcals and light-intensity activity. Greater PA was associated with better physical performance, while high sedentary time was associated with poorer performance. To our knowledge, this is the first study to objectively measure PA in older PLWHA. Our findings indicate that older PLWHA accumulate substantial sedentary time. Most (86%) do not achieve recommended MVPA levels. This activity profile was associated with poor physical function. Providers should promote PA among PLWHA.
Safeek, RH; Hall, KS; Lobelo, F; Del Rio, C; Khoury, AL; Wong, T; Morey, MC; McKellar, MS
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