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Differences in prevalence and risk factors of non-communicable diseases between young people living with HIV (YLWH) and young general population in Cambodia


Understanding non-communicable diseases (NCDs) among young people living with HIV (YLWH) is critical given the potential for aging-associated comorbidities resulting from HIV, especially in Cambodia where such data are limited. Therefore, we examined the prevalence and correlates of NCDs in YLWH and compared it to a nationally representative sample of young people not otherwise infected. We collected data from a sample of 370 YLWH aged 18-29 years attending three HIV clinics in Cambodia between 2019 and 2020. Our comparison group were 486 young people who participated in the Ministry of Health/WHO 2016 Noncommunicable Disease Risk Factor Surveillance (STEP survey). Both surveys used a standardized questionnaire to collect information on lifestyle factors and World Health Organization protocols for physical and biochemical measurements. We compared the prevalence of diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterolemia between the two groups and examined the relationship between these conditions and HIV. We found 16 (4%), 22 (6%), and 72 (20%) had diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterolemia, respectively, among YLWH, compared to 4 (1%), 22 (4%), and 49 (11%) among the general population. In logistic regression, YLWH were at higher odds of diabetes/prediabetes and high cholesterolemia compared with the young general population, aOR = 6.64 (95% CI 3.62-12.19) and aOR = 7.95 (95% CI 3.98-15.87), respectively. Our findings demonstrate that YLWH in Cambodia face multiple metabolic disorders and NCDs despite their young age and that accessible screening measures and treatment for these conditions are needed in order to combat NCDs in the future.

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