People with HIV have a four per cent higher risk of developing diabetes, according to a new study.
A link between the two conditions has been found in previous studies, but findings had been queried by the medical community for not being conclusive.
This new US study, led by Dr Alfonso Hernandez-Romieu at the Department of Epidemiology at Emory University in Atlanta, set out to provide clearer evidence by directly comparing diabetes prevalence in people with HIV to those without HIV.
To calculate their findings, the researchers used information from two different surveys. One of which had health data from just over 8,000 adults with HIV; the other featured more than 5,500 people without the virus.
In the HIV group around 10.3 per cent of people were found to have type 2 diabetes, compared with 8.3 per cent of the general public.
After the team made allowances for sex, age and obesity, the prevalence of diabetes was 3.8 per cent higher in the group with HIV than those without the condition.
Just under four per cent of those with HIV also had type 1 diabetes; 52 per cent had type 2 diabetes; and 44 per cent had unspecified diabetes.
Another key finding was that in people with HIV, diabetes was more likely to develop at earlier ages and without obesity.
Hernandez-Romieu and colleagues recommended that wider screening for diabetes should be considered, particularly as their data showed a higher prevalence of diabetes in younger and non-obese people with HIV.
They also noted that improved diagnostic tests may be required as studies had indicated limitations with the use of HbA1c for diagnosis.
The study appears online in the BMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care.

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