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Association of midlife smoking status with change in processing speed and mental flexibility among HIV-seropositive and HIV-seronegative older men: the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study

Abstract

Smoking is a potential risk factor for age-related cognitive decline. To date, no study has examined the association between smoking and cognitive decline in men living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The aim of this present study is to examine whether smoking status and severity in midlife is associated with a rate of decline in cognitive processing speed among older HIV-seropositive and HIV-seronegative men who have sex with men. Data from 591 older HIV-seropositive and HIV-seronegative men who have sex with men from the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study were examined. All participants had information on smoking history collected before age 50 years and at least 5 years of follow-up after age 50. Smoking history was categorized as never smoker, former smoker, and current smoker and cumulative pack years was calculated. The raw scores of three neuropsychological tests (Trail Making A, Trail Making B, and Symbol Digit Modalities tests) were log transformed (Trail Making A and B) and used in linear mixed models to determine associations between smoking history and at least subsequent 5-year decline in cognitive processing speed. There were no significant differences in the rates of neurological decline among never smokers, former smokers, and current smokers. Findings were similar among HIV-seropositive participants. However, an increase of 5 pack-years was statistically significantly associated with a greater rate of decline in the Trail Making Test B score and Composite Score (β −0.0250 [95% CI, −0.0095 to −0.0006] and −0.0077 [95% CI, −0.0153 to −0.0002], respectively). We found no significant association between smoking treated as a categorical variable (never smoked, former smoker, or current smoker) and a small change in every increase of 5 pack-years on measures of psychomotor speed and cognitive flexibility. To optimize healthy aging, interventions for smoking cessation should be tailored to men who have sex with men.

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Acknowledgments

The data in this manuscript were collected by the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS) with centers at Baltimore (U01-AI35042): The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health: Joseph B. Margolick (PI), Barbara Crain, Adrian Dobs, Homayoon Farzadegan, Joel Gallant, Lisette Johnson-Hill, Cynthia Munro, Michael W. Plankey, Ned Sacktor, James Shepard, and Chloe Thio; Chicago (U01-AI35039): Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, and Cook County Bureau of Health Services: Steven M. Wolinsky (PI), John P. Phair, Sheila Badri, Maurice O’Gorman, David Ostrow, Frank Palella, and Ann Ragin; Los Angeles (U01-AI35040): University of California, UCLA Schools of Public Health and Medicine: Roger Detels (PI), Otoniel Martínez-Maza (Co-PI), Aaron Aronow, Robert Bolan, Elizabeth Breen, Anthony Butch, Beth Jamieson, Eric N. Miller, John Oishi, Harry Vinters, Dorothy Wiley, Mallory Witt, Otto Yang, Stephen Young, Zuo Feng Zhang; Pittsburgh (U01-AI35041): University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public Health: Charles R. Rinaldo (PI), Lawrence A. Kingsley (Co-PI), James T. Becker, Ross D. Cranston, Jeremy J. Martinson, John W. Mellors, Anthony J. Silvestre, and Ronald D. Stall; and the Data Coordinating Center (UM1-AI35043): The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health: Lisa P. Jacobson (PI), Alvaro Munoz (Co-PI), Alison, Abraham, Keri Althoff, Christopher Cox, Jennifer Deal, Gypsyamber D’Souza, Priya Duggal, Janet Schollenberger, Eric C. Seaberg, Sol Su, and Pamela Surkan. The MACS is funded primarily by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), with additional co-funding from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Targeted supplemental funding for specific projects was also provided by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and the National Institute on Deafness and Communication Disorders (NIDCD). MACS data collection is also supported by UL1-TR000424 (JHU CTSA). Website located at http://www.statepi.jhsph.edu/macs/macs.html. The contents of this publication are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

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Correspondence to Wajiha Z. Akhtar-Khaleel.

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Akhtar-Khaleel, W.Z., Cook, R.L., Shoptaw, S. et al. Association of midlife smoking status with change in processing speed and mental flexibility among HIV-seropositive and HIV-seronegative older men: the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study. J. Neurovirol. 23, 239–249 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13365-016-0496-6

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13365-016-0496-6

Keywords

  • HIV
  • Neuropsychological test
  • Smoking
  • Neurocognition