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Weight loss as a predictor of survival and disease progression in HIV infection. Terry Beirn Community Programs for Clinical Research on AIDS.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, USA.


Severe weight loss in HIV is associated with decreased length of survival. It is unclear whether mild weight loss is associated with an increased risk of death or opportunistic complications of HIV. Participants in four interventional studies (n = 2382) conducted by a community-based clinical trials network were evaluated for percentage change in weight during their first 4 months in the study. Proportional hazards models were performed for the occurrence of opportunistic complications and death subsequent to the 4-month visit. The relative risk of death and opportunistic complications for those with 5% to 10% weight loss over 4 months was 2.22 (p < .001) and 1.89 (p < .001), respectively, and 1.26 (p < .01) and 1.19 (p < .01) among those who lost 0% to 5% of their body weight, respectively, when compared with those with no weight loss. Among those who lost 5% to 10% of their body weight, the relative risk of individual opportunistic complications increased significantly, including Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) (1.61; p < .01), cytomegalovirus (CMV) (2.33; p < .001), and Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) (1.81; p < .01). As little as 5%t weight loss over a 4-month period is associated with increased risk of death and opportunistic complications in HIV. A weight loss of 5% to 10% is also associated with an increased risk of individual opportunistic complications.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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