About the study
The Canadian HIV and Aging Cohort Study (CTN 272) is a long-term investigation of the determinants of aging in people living with HIV. The study, started in 2012, enrolled 850 participants living with HIV and 250 without HIV in 11 sites across Canada. The Canadian Institutes of Health Research granted a second round of funding to the study team, which prolongs funding of the cohort for another five years. In CTN 272-2, recruitment is expanded to increase the representation of women. While pursuing and expanding the original focus on cardiovascular disease, CTN 272-2 broadens its objectives to include determinants of frailty, and the impact of diet and gender on aging with HIV, as well as discovery of new immune pathways that could affect aging.
About the disease/condition
People living with HIV can now hope for near normal life expectancies. This transition of HIV to a chronic condition means that more information is needed about its effects throughout the lifespan. There is a need to understand which processes of aging are associated with HIV, and which can be targeted by new treatments. Researchers who study the mechanisms behind aging in the general population are moving beyond the investigation of single diseases to look at and understand aging as a group of interacting characteristics and mechanisms. Part of a more global understanding of aging is the concept of frailty, which refers to reduced function and health in older people.
Research suggests that an altered immune system, which is the reality for people living with HIV, is a significant determinant of frailty. Frailty also appears to be strongly correlated with cardiovascular disease risk, but it is unknown whether they share a common cause, especially in people living with HIV. On top of this, there are considerable differences between men and women when it comes to immune function in HIV and the overall aging process in general. For example, research suggests that women living with HIV are at higher risk of having a heart attack compared to men.
About the approach/intervention
CTN 272-2 will extend the length of the original CTN 272 cohort study by five years and recruit an additional 50 women living with HIV. All participants already recruited in CTN 272 will be invited to take part in this extension. Participants in the study will attend two visits at two-year intervals; for those already enrolled, this will extend their participation by four years. At each visit, the data collection from the original study, which includes medical history, vital signs, and blood samples, will be repeated. Measurements of frailty and questionnaire data on nutrition and gender will also be collected. As in the original study, blood samples will be biobanked at each visit for future study.
The original CTN 272 study also had a number of smaller sub-studies where groups of eligible participants from the main cohort underwent extra testing. The extra tests provide the researchers with data to address more specific questions related to cardiovascular health. In CTN 272-2, these sub-studies will continue, with the addition of other non-invasive cardiovascular imaging tests for some participants. There will also be smaller studies that use biobanked samples to address questions about the immune system; no further testing is required for these sub-studies.
Individuals will be eligible for the study if they meet the following inclusion criteria:
- Older than 40 years old or adult (greater than 18 years) with duration of HIV infection lasting for at least 15 years at the time of enrolment
- Able to provide informed consent
- Life expectancy greater than one year
Enrolment of the 50 additional women will take place at the Oak Tree Clinic in Vancouver and at the CHUM in Montreal only.
Providence Health Care Society
St. Paul’s Hospital,
1081 Burrard Street,
Vancouver, BC, V6Z 1Y6
Vancouver ID Research and Care Centre Society
201-1200 Burrard Street
Vancouver, BC, V6Z 2C7
BC Women’s Health Centre
Oak Tree Clinic
4500 Oak St, 6th Floor, Shaughnessy Building
Vancouver, BC, V5Z 0A7
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
The Ottawa Hospital, General Campus
501 Smyth Road, 2nd floor, room K15-B
Ottawa, Ontario, K1H 8L6
Toronto General Hospital
585 University Avenue
13 North, Room 1323
Toronto, Ontario, M5G 2N2
Regina General Hospital
Regina, SK, S4P 0W5
McGill University Health Center (MUHC)
Chronic Viral Illness Service
1001 Decarie Blvd,
Montréal, Québec, H4A 3J1
CHUM Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal
Hôtel-Dieu, Jeanne-Mance building 3 thr floor
3840, rue Saint-Urbain
Montréal, Québec, H2W 1T8
Centre de Recherche en Infectiologie
Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Québec (CHUQ) – pavillon CHUL
2705, boul. laurier, S-745
Québec City, Quebec, G1V 4G2
Clinique de Médecine Urbaine du Quartier Latin
1733 rue Berri 2nd Floor
Montréal, Québec, H2L4E9
Clinique médicale l’Actuel
1001, boul. de Maisonneuve est
11e étage, bureau 1130
Montréal, Québec, H2L 4P9
If you would like more information on this clinical study, please refer to a participating site.
Dr. Madeleine Durand
Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal
3840 rue St-Urbain
Hôtel-Dieu, pavillon Jeanne-Mance