HIV infection is associated with diffusing capacity impairment in women.
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Respiratory dysfunction is common with HIV infection, but few studies have directly assessed whether HIV remains an independent risk factor for pulmonary function abnormalities in the antiretroviral therapy era. Additionally, few studies have focused on pulmonary outcomes in HIV+ women. We tested associations between risk factors for respiratory dysfunction and pulmonary outcomes in 63 HIV+ and 36 HIV-uninfected women enrolled in the Women's Interagency HIV Study. Diffusing capacity (DL(CO)) was significantly lower in HIV+ women (65.5% predicted vs. 72.7% predicted, P = 0.01), and self-reported dyspnea in HIV+ participants was associated with both DL(CO) impairment and airflow obstruction. Providers should be aware that DL(CO) impairment is common in HIV infection, and that either DL(CO) impairment or airflow obstruction may cause respiratory symptoms in this population.