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Accelerated lung function decline is relatively common from the late 20s and indicates chronic lung disease in many communities, including those living with HIV.1 2 The factors influencing and mechanisms of lung function decline in people living with HIV (PLWH) or without HIV are complex and multifactorial.2 This includes changes in the lungs and respiratory system, decreased muscle mass, and decreased lung elasticity. As we age, the lungs lose their ability to expand and contract as quickly, which can lead to a decrease in lung capacity and difficulty breathing.3 Other factors, such as smoking, exposure to pollution and chronic health conditions, can also accelerate lung function decline.4 5
Previous studies demonstrated that PLWH who are receiving adequate treatment may also have a higher prevalence of chronic respiratory disease, includingchronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema and lung function decline compared with those without HIV; the decline could be even faster.2 6 This is likely due to the chronic inflammation and damage to the immune system caused by HIV, which can lead to an increased risk for lung infections and other lung-related complications.6 However, with the advancement of antiretroviral therapy (ART), PLWH can now expect a much longer life expectancy and a better quality of life. When taken correctly, ART can …
Contributors SMA drafted the editorial, and MAR reviewed and revised it. Both authors approved the final submitted version.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease