Decreased bone mineral density and increased fracture risk in aging men with or at risk for HIV infection

Julia H. Arnsten, Ruth Freeman, Andrea A. Howard, Michelle Floris-Moore, Yungtai Lo, Robert S. Klein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

204 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Osteopenia has been described in HIV-infected persons, but most studies have not focused on aging men, have not included an HIV-negative comparison group with similar risks to those of the HIV-infected men, or lacked data on fracture rates. METHODS: We analyzed bone mineral density (BMD) and incident fractures in 559 men who were ≥ 49 years old with or at-risk for HIV, including 328 with and 231 without HIV infection. RESULTS: Median age was 55 years, 56% were black and 89% had used illicit drugs. In unadjusted analysis, BMD was lower in HIV-infected compared with HIV-uninfected men at the femoral neck (0.97 ± 0.14 versus 1.00 ± 0.15 g/cm; P < 0.05) and lumbar spine (1.17 ± 0.20 versus 1.20 ± 0.21 g/cm; P = 0.06); both differences were significant (P < 0.05) after adjusting for age, weight, race, testosterone level, and prednisone and illicit drug use. Non-black race and body weight were independently associated with BMD at both measurement sites and methadone therapy was independently associated with spine BMD. Among HIV-infected men, 87% had taken antiretrovirals and 74% had taken protease inhibitors, but their use was not associated with BMD. Among men who had at least one subsequent study visit (94%), incident fracture rates per 100 person-years differed among men with normal BMD, osteopenia and osteoporosis (1.4 versus 3.6 versus 6.5; P < 0.01). A 38% increase in fracture rate among HIV-infected men was not statistically significant. CONCLUSIONS: HIV infection is independently associated with modestly reduced BMD in aging men, and decreased BMD is associated with increased fracture risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)617-623
Number of pages7
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 2007


  • Antiretroviral therapy
  • Bone fractures
  • Bone mineral density
  • Opiate dependence
  • Osteopenia
  • Osteoporosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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