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Open Med. 2012 Nov 27;6(4):e146-54. Print 2012.

Socio-economic- and sex-related disparities in rates of hospital admission among patients with HIV infection in Ontario: a population-based study.

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Department of Family and Community Medicine at St. Michael’s Hospital and an Assistant Professor in the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



Among people living with HIV infection in the era of combination antiretroviral therapy (cART), admission to hospital may indicate inadequate community-based care. As such, population-based assessments of the utilization of inpatient services represent a necessary component of evaluating the quality of HIV-related care.


We used a validated algorithm to search Ontario's administrative health care databases for all persons living with HIV infection aged 18 years or older between 1992/93 and 2008/09. We then conducted a population-based study using time-series and longitudinal analyses to first quantify the immediate effect of cART on hospital admission rates and then analyze recent trends (for 2002/03 to 2008/09) in rates of total and HIV-related admissions.


The introduction of cART in 1996/97 was associated with more pronounced reductions in the rate of hospital admissions among men than among women (for total admissions, -89.9 v. -60.5 per 1000 persons living with HIV infection, p = 0.003; for HIV-related admissions, -56.9 v. -36.3 per 1000 persons living with HIV infection, p < 0.001). Between 2002/03 and 2008/09, higher rates of total hospital admissions were associated with female sex (adjusted relative rate [RR] 1.15, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.05-1.27) and low socio-economic status (adjusted RR 1.21, 95% CI 1.14-1.29). Higher rates of HIV-related hospital admission were associated with low socio-economic status (adjusted RR 1.30, 95% CI 1.17-1.45). Recent immigrants had lower rates of both total admissions (adjusted RR 0.70, 95% CI 0.61-0.80) and HIV-related admissions (adjusted RR 0.77, 95% CI 0.61-0.96).


We observed important socio-economic- and sex-related disparities in rates of hospital admission among people with HIV living in Ontario, Canada.

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