cART Ups Life Expectancy in Ugandan HIV Patients

Ugandan women receiving combo antiretroviral therapy have lower mortality rate than men

TUESDAY, July 19 (HealthDay News) -- Combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) may substantially improve life expectancy in patients with HIV in Uganda, with women having a greater life expectancy then men, according to a study published online July 18 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Edward J. Mills, Ph.D., from the University of Ottawa, and colleagues estimated the life expectancy of 22,315 eligible Ugandan patients with HIV after the initiation of cART between 2000 and 2009. All-cause mortality rates and estimated life expectancies were stratified by gender and baseline CD4 cell-count status. The average number of additional years that patients lived after receiving cART was assessed within varying age categories. A total of 1,943 participants were lost to follow-up, and were considered to have died.

The investigators found that, after adjusting for loss to follow-up, the crude mortality rates (deaths per 1,000 person-years) in men and women were 43.9 and 26.9, respectively. A baseline CD4 cell-count status of less than 0.050 × 109 cells/L was correlated with a mortality rate of 67.3 deaths per 1,000 person years, and baseline CD4 cell-count greater than or equal to 0.250 × 10 9 cells/L was correlated with a mortality rate of 19.1 deaths per 1,000 person-years. Life expectancy for the overall cohort was 26.7 additional years at 20 years of age and 27.9 additional years at 35 years of age. Increased baseline CD4 cell count correlated positively with increased life expectancy. Older age groups showed similar trends.

"Ugandan patients receiving cART can expect an almost normal life expectancy, although there is considerable variability between subgroups of patients," the authors write.

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