HIV-specific health care utilization and mortality among tuberculosis/HIV coinfected persons.
Persons coinfected with tuberculosis (TB) and HIV are at high risk of death, in part due to suboptimal utilization of HIV-specific health care. We sought to better understand HIV-associated health care utilization and mortality in a retrospective cohort of TB/HIV coinfected cases reported in North Carolina 1993-2003. In this cohort, HIV was newly diagnosed during TB presentation for 34.2% of coinfected patients. Patients had advanced HIV (median CD4 104 cells/mm(3)) at TB diagnosis. Of 260 patients previously known to be HIV positive, 32.3% had seen a physician for HIV care in the previous 6 months and only 18.5% were taking antiretrovirals when TB was diagnosed; 34.8% of patients started antiretrovirals during TB treatment. Twenty-seven (5%) patients died prior to starting TB treatment; of those who survived, 13.6% (70/515) died prior to completing TB treatment, and 42.7% (220/515) died during a median 1408 days of follow-up. CD4 count (relative risk [RR] 0.53 per 100 cell increase, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.34, 1.02) and highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) use during TB therapy (RR 0.37, 95% CI 0.13, 1.02) were independently associated with decreased mortality, while age greater than 45 (RR 2.18, 95% CI 1.11, 4.29) was independently associated with increased mortality during TB treatment. We conclude that TB/HIV coinfected patients had low utilization rates of HIV-specific care prior to TB diagnosis. Many did not receive potentially lifesaving HIV treatment while on TB therapy, and mortality was high as a result. Interventions to enhance utilization of HIV-related health care and integration of TB and HIV services should be studied to improve outcomes.
Gadkowski, LB; Hamilton, CD; Allen, M; Fortenberry, ER; Luffman, J; Zeringue, E; Stout, JE
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