By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com November 25 2009 10:00 AM ET
Here’s another reason to work closely with your health care provider to ensure that your treatment produces a CD4-cell rebound. Having a persistently low count puts you at risk for a clinical syndrome simply known as "frailty," which usually occurs among the elderly. A study of over 1,000 HIVers in four U.S. cities published in the March issue of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes has shown that people with low CD4 counts were more likely to have a blood-based biomarker linked with the onset of frailty. The condition causes such symptoms as weight loss, fatigue, muscle weakness, and lethargy. "At lower CD4 counts, the risk of frailty increased exponentially and significantly," researchers warn.