Dyspnea and Pulmonary Function among Participants in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study Using Protease Inhibitors: A Cross-Sectional Study

Charles Terry, Christina Mehta, Ja Nae Holloway, Anandi Sheth, Igho Ofotokun, Alison Abraham, Ken M. Kunisaki, Mallory Witt, Meredith C. McCormack, Alison Morris, Michael Bradley Drummond, Robert Jensen, Valentina Stosor, Bernard MacAtangay, Sushma Cribbs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


People living with HIV (PLWH) have a higher prevalence of respiratory symptoms than people without human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Antiretroviral therapy has been associated with worsened airflow limitation. This cross-sectional study assessed respiratory health impairment among PLWH and its association with protease inhibitor use using data from Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study visits between April 1, 2017 and March 31, 2018. Participants completed the St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ), modified Medical Research Council (mMRC) dyspnea scale, spirometry, and diffusion capacity measurement. Visit data were compared among PI users, non-PI users, and men without HIV. Binary and ordinal logistic models were used to determine the associations between HIV status, PI use, and covariates with primary outcomes of dichotomized SGRQ and mMRC dyspnea scores. Of PI users, 57/177 (32.2%) self-reported pulmonary disease compared with 132/501 (26.4%) of non-PI users and 105/547 (19.2%) men without HIV. Of PI users, 77/177 (45.3%) had SGRQ scores ≥10, while 171/501 (34.7%) of non-PI users and 162/549 (29.9%) of people living without HIV had SGRQ scores ≥10 (p = .001). Adjusted models found an association between PI use and SGRQ score ≥10 [odds ratio (OR) 1.91 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.29-2.82), ref: HIV negative and OR 1.50 (95% CI 1.01-2.22) ref: non-PI users]. A similar association was found with mMRC scores and PI use [OR 1.79 (95% CI 1.21-2.64), ref: HIV negative and OR 1.53 (95% CI 1.04-2.25), ref: non-PI users]. PI use is associated with worse respiratory health status, increased dyspnea, and an increased prevalence of self-reported pulmonary disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-151
Number of pages9
JournalAIDS Research and Human Retroviruses
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright 2022, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers 2022.


  • HIV
  • HIV protease inhibitors
  • lung
  • lung diseases
  • respiratory function tests


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