Both alcoholism and HIV infection reduce health-related quality of life (HRQOL), and their co-occurrence is highly prevalent. We sought to determine whether comorbidity for both disorders further reduced HRQOL and what factors exacerbated or mitigated their effect.HRQOL, CD4 T-cell counts, lifetime alcohol consumption and length of sobriety, depressive symptoms (Beck Depression Inventory [BDI]-II), general cognitive status (Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test II), and other psychiatric comorbidities were assessed in patients with alcohol dependence or abuse (n = 44), HIV infection (n = 44), alcohol + HIV (n = 55), and healthy controls (n = 41).Alcohol + HIV patients had lower HRQOL and more psychiatric comorbidities compared with patients with only HIV or those with only alcohol dependence or abuse; however, they matched HIV patients with regard to CD4 counts and matched alcohol patients on lifetime alcohol consumption. Across patient groups, higher HRQOL was associated with lower BDI scores but was not associated with age, gender, lifetime alcohol use, or viral load. HRQOL was higher for alcoholics in remission than for those currently meeting Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, criteria. In stepwise regression, BDI total score predicted 34% of HRQOL variance in alcohol, 52% in alcohol + HIV, and 55% in HIV groups. General cognitive status contributed an additional 4% to the prediction of HRQOL but only in the alcohol + HIV group.The superimposition of HIV infection onto alcoholism has a negative impact on HRQOL independent of the severity of either disease. Depression strongly predicts HRQOL, and general cognitive status plays a small role in enhancing quality of life for those at greatest clinical disadvantage.
View details for Web of Science ID 000248712600015
View details for PubMedID 17149525