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Response to antiretroviral therapy: improved survival associated with CD4 above 500 cells/mul

  • 2012/07/17
Type of publication
  • Articles
Authors
  • Maman D
  • Pujades-Rodriguez M
  • Nicholas S
  • McGuire M
  • Szumilin E
  • Ecochard R
  • Etard JF
Themes
  • HIV

OBJECTIVE: We investigated the association between immune response and mortality in four HIV African programs supported by Medecins Sans Frontieres. DESIGN: Multicentric retrospective cohort study. METHODS: All antiretroviral therapy (ART) naive adults (>15 years) who initiated therapy between March 2001 and November 2010 and receiving therapy for 9 months or more were included. We described the evolution of mortality over time. Mixed Poisson models were used to assess the effect of updated CD4 cell counts and other potential risk factors on mortality. FINDINGS: A total of 24 037 patients, of which 68% were women, contributed 69 516.2 person-years of follow-up. At ART initiation, 5718 patients (23.7%) were classified as WHO clinical stage 4, 1587 (6.6%) had a BMI below 16 kg/m and 2568 (10.7%) had CD4 cell count below 50 cells/mul. A total of 568 (2.4%) deaths were recorded during the study period. In the CD4 response categories 500 cells/mul or more, 350-499, 200-349, 50-199 cells/mul and less than 50 cells/mul, unadjusted mortality rates were 0.36; 0.58; 0.88; 1.91 and 7.43 per 100 person-years, respectively. In multivariate analysis, higher mortality was observed in patients with CD4 response levels 350-499 cells/mul [adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) 1.70, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.26-2.30] and for those between 200-349 (aHR 2.56; 95% CI 1.93-3.38), compared to those with 500 cells/mul or more. INTERPRETATION: The observed higher survival of patients with a CD4 response to ART higher than 500 cells/mul supports the need of further research to evaluate the individual benefit of initiating ART at higher CD4 levels in sub-Saharan Africa