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Publication Abstract Display
Type: Poster
Title: Patterns of methamphetamine use vary by age and HIV serostatus.
Authors: Montoya JL, Cattie JE, Morgan EE, Woods SP, Moore DJ, Atkinson JH, Grant I and the TMARC Group
Date: 06-17-2013
Abstract:Aims: Given the high co-occurrence of methamphetamine (MA) use and HIV infection and the aging of HIV persons in the U.S., we examined MA use behaviors in relation to age and HIV serostatus. Considering research indicating possible age-related effects on psychosocial and neuropharmacological factors that may affect MA use patterns, we hypothesized that the oldest cohort may differ in MA use behaviors in comparison to younger cohorts. Methods: Participants included 227 MA-dependent persons across four 10-year age cohorts (20s: n=22, 30s: n=73, 40s: n=106, 50s: n=26). Individuals underwent extensive substance use, neuropsychological, medical, and psychiatric evaluations. Age cohorts did not differ on demographic factors or prevalence of psychiatric comorbidities, other substance use disorders, or HIV infection. Results: Analyses of variance revealed significant between-group differences for age of first use, recency of use, and cumulative days of use (p<.05). The two youngest cohorts initiated use at a younger age than the next older cohorts, and the oldest cohort reported more remote use than all other cohorts (ps<.05). Age and HIV, but not their interaction, significantly predicted age of first use and cumulative days of use (ps<.0001). Age, HIV, and their interaction significantly predicted total quantity (p<.0001), such that MA consumption increased with advancing age for HIV- (r=.29), but not for HIV+ (r=.02), persons. Conclusions: As compared to their younger counterparts, older adults had a later onset, greater duration, and earlier cessation of MA use, which may be driven by psychosocial and/or biomedical factors. In particular, HIV infection appears to dampen the association between older age and greater MA use, perhaps due to incident chronic illness. Older persons without HIV should be assessed for problematic substance use, which may place them at risk for HIV transmission.

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