Scientific article
Open access

Alcohol consumption and neurocognitive deficits in people with well-treated HIV in Switzerland

Published inPloS one, vol. 16, no. 3, e0246579
Publication date2021-03-02
First online date2021

Background: Hazardous alcohol consumption and HIV infection increase the risk of neurocognitive impairment (NCI). We examined the association between alcohol consumption and specific neurocognitive domain function in people with HIV (PWH) taking modern antiretroviral therapy.

Methods: The Neurocognitive Assessment in the Metabolic and Aging Cohort (NAMACO) study is a prospective, longitudinal, multicentre and multilingual (French, German and Italian) study of patients aged ≥45 years old enrolled in the Swiss HIV Cohort Study (SHCS). Baseline data from 981 study participants were examined. Five neurocognitive domains were evaluated: motor skills, speed of information processing, attention/working memory, executive function and verbal episodic memory. NCI was examined as binary (presence/absence) and continuous (mean z-score) outcomes against Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test for Consumption (AUDIT-C) scores using logistic and linear regression models, respectively.

Results: Most participants (96.2%) had undetectable viral loads and 64% were aged >50 years old. Hazardous alcohol consumption was observed in 49.4% of participants and binge drinking in 4.2%. While alcohol consumption frequency and quantity were not associated with NCI, the practice of binge drinking was significantly associated with impaired motor skills and overall neurocognitive function in both binary (odds ratio, OR ≥2.0, P <0.05) and continuous (mean z-score difference-0.2 to-0.4, P ≤0.01) outcomes. A significant U-shaped distribution of AUDIT-C score was also observed for motor skills and overall neurocognitive function.

Conclusions: In this cohort of PWH with well-controlled HIV infection, NCI was associated with the practice of binge drinking rather than alcohol consumption frequency or quantity. Longitudinal analysis of alcohol consumption and NCI in this population is currently underway.

  • Aged
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology
  • Anti-Retroviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections / psychology
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Mental Processes
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurocognitive Disorders / diagnosis
  • Neurocognitive Disorders / etiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Switzerland
Research group
Citation (ISO format)
DARLING, Katharine E A et al. Alcohol consumption and neurocognitive deficits in people with well-treated HIV in Switzerland. In: PloS one, 2021, vol. 16, n° 3, p. e0246579. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0246579
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1932-6203

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