Accelerated biological aging in HIV-infected individuals in South Africa

This caught my eye because it brings together things I’ve seen in two very different spheres of research – stress in social determinants research and HIV in Cape Town (I also know some of the authors – it’s always social networks in the end…).

No in-depth analysis from me here, but it’s really interesting how widely teleomere research is going and how it is being used to quantify the impact of a wide range of exposures on the broadest of health outcome measures (i.e. ‘biological aging’).  I don’t know enough details about teleomeres to know how we meaningfully convert length to life expectancy (or quality of life), but it both bothers me a little that we may be focusing on something because it is measurable, and intrigues me that we may be able show previously only-hypothesised stress effects of HIV, and in particular antiretroviral treatment, on the body.

Maybe the most interesting line for me, showing my personal interests I guess, was:

Socio-economic factors were not associated with biological aging in HIV-infected participants

My prior would have been that this is in contrast to the general population, however a recent review suggests the evidence for a link between SES and teleomere length is mixed. And in this study, SES was unrelated for both those with and without HIV.

Still lots of interesting work out there to do on this…

HIV and Teleomeres

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