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CMAJ. 2000 Mar 21;162(6):783-6.

Determinants of hospital admission among HIV-positive people in British Columbia.

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British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, St. Paul's Hospital.



This study was initiated to evaluate the demographic and clinical determinants of admission to hospital among HIV-positive men and women receiving antiretroviral therapy in British Columbia.


The analysis was restricted to participants enrolled in the HIV/AIDS Drug Treatment Program between September 1992 and March 1997 who had completed an annual participant survey, had a viral load determination and had signed a consent form allowing electronic access to their inpatient hospital records. A record linkage was conducted with the BC Ministry of Health to obtain all records of hospital admissions from April 1991 to March 1997. Statistical analyses were carried out using parametric and nonparametric methods and multivariate logistic analyses.


The study sample comprised 947 participants (859 men, 88 women). Of these, 165 (17%) were admitted to hospital during the study period from May 1, 1996, to Mar. 31, 1997. The median number of admissions was 1 (interquartile range [IQR] 1-2 admissions), and the median length of stay per admission was 3 days (IQR 1-8 days). Admission to hospital was associated with being unemployed (82% of those admitted v. 58% of those not admitted), being an injection drug user (24% v. 17%), reporting a fair or poor health status (46% v. 29%) and having a physician experienced in the management of HIV/AIDS (31% v. 24%). Examination of clinical determinants demonstrated that hospital admission was associated with a previous admission (72% v. 46%), a high viral load (median 74,000 v. 14,000 HIV-1 RNA copies/mL), a low CD4 count (median 0.16 v. 0.27 x 10(9)/L) and an AIDS diagnosis (44% v. 24%). Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that being admitted to hospital was independently associated with being unemployed (odds ratio [OR] 2.64, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.66-4.20), having been previously admitted to hospital (OR 2.30, 95% CI 1.53-3.46), having a high viral load at baseline (OR 1.45, 95% CI 1.16-1.80), being an injection drug user (OR 1.63, 95% CI 1.02-2.62) and having an experienced physician (OR 1.98, 95% CI 1.29-3.03).


Hospital admission among participants in this study was found to be associated with marginalization and poor health status.

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