Bisher AKIL, MD

Deadlier than HIV?

In General Health, HIV on February 25, 2013 at 7:11 am

Smoking is extremely common among HIV-infected patients. To quantify the contribution of smoking to mortality in HIV patients, researchers analyzed a median of 4 years of follow-up data from 2921 patients (78% men, 77% on antiretroviral therapy at baseline) in a Danish national HIV cohort and from 10,642 matched controls in the Danish general population. Each patient’s smoking status — current (any weekly tobacco use), previous, or never — was assessed at time of enrollment and held constant for purposes of analysis. Duration of smoking was not considered. Outcomes data came from Danish national registries. In the HIV-infected cohort, analyses adjusted for HIV-related and other clinical variables revealed that all-cause mortality was more than fourfold higher, and non–AIDS-related mortality was more than fivefold higher, among current smokers than among never smokers. The population-attributable risk for death related to smoking was about 62% in the HIV cohort and 34% in the control group. Compared with controls, HIV patients had roughly triple the excess mortality and life-years lost from smoking. The relative risk for death associated with smoking did not differ significantly between the two groups.

Comment: Striking numbers: 12.3 life-years lost from smoking, compared with 5.1 lost from HIV infection!

CITATION: Helleberg M et al. Mortality attributable to smoking among HIV-1–infected individuals: A nationwide, population-based cohort study. Clin Infect Dis 2012 Dec 18.

Published in Journal Watch HIV/AIDS Clinical Care.

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