Background: The study was undertaken to describe the frequency of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) and depressive symptoms in an older population with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Methods: A cross-sectional analysis of patients aged 50 years or older infected with HIV was carried out in an outpatient setting in Brazil from March to November 2008. Patients selected were submitted to cognitive evaluation using the Mini-Mental State Examination and International HIV Dementia Scale, and also to functional and depression evaluations.
Results: Among the 52 patients evaluated, the frequency of neurocognitive disorder was 36.5%, while for dementia the frequency was 13.5%. No risk factors were identified. Among the patients with cognitive impairment, 73.7% had cortical impairment. The frequency of depressive symptoms was of 34.6%. The female gender was identified as a risk factor (p = 0.018) and patients with depressive symptoms had greater functional impairment (p < 0.001).
Conclusion: HAND and depressive symptoms are common in an older population. Patients with cognitive impairment achieved lower scores on the cortical assessment scales. Depressive symptoms are a stronger factor for functional impairment.