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J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2018 Dec 15;79(5):624-630. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0000000000001855.

Predictors of Mortality Among Hospitalized Patients With Lower Respiratory Tract Infections in a High HIV Burden Setting.

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Department of Medicine, Mulago Hospital, Kampala, Uganda.
Department of Medicine, Makerere College of Health Sciences, Kampala, Uganda.
Makerere University-University of California San Francisco Research Collaboration, Kampala, Uganda.
Department of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA.
Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT.
Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, Department of Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT.



Lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs) are a leading cause of mortality in sub-Saharan Africa. Triaging identifies patients at high risk of death, but laboratory tests proposed for use in severity-of-illness scores are not readily available, limiting their clinical use. Our objective was to determine whether baseline characteristics in hospitalized participants with LRTI predicted increased risk of death.


This was a secondary analysis from the Mulago Inpatient Non-invasive Diagnosis-International HIV-associated Opportunistic Pneumonias (MIND-IHOP) cohort of adults hospitalized with LRTI who underwent standardized investigations and treatment. The primary outcome was all-cause mortality at 2 months. Predictors of mortality were determined using multiple logistic regression.


Of 1887 hospitalized participants with LRTI, 372 (19.7%) died. The median participant age was 34.3 years (interquartile range, 28.0-43.3 years), 978 (51.8%) were men, and 1192 (63.2%) were HIV-positive with median CD4 counts of 81 cells/µL (interquartile range, 21-226 cells/µL). Seven hundred eleven (37.7%) participants had a microbiologically confirmed diagnosis. Temperature <35.5°C [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 1.77, 95% confidence intervals (CI): 1.20 to 2.60; P = 0.004], heart rate >120/min (aOR = 1.82, 95% CI: 1.37 to 2.43; P < 0.0001), oxygen saturation <90% (aOR = 2.74, 95% CI: 1.97 to 3.81; P < 0.0001), being bed-bound (aOR = 1.88, 95% CI: 1.47 to 2.41; P < 0.0001), and being HIV-positive (aOR = 1.49, 95% CI: 1.14 to 1.94; P = 0.003) were independently associated with mortality at 2 months.


Having temperature <35.5°C, heart rate >120/min, hypoxia, being HIV-positive, and bed-bound independently predicts mortality in participants hospitalized with LRTI. These readily available characteristics could be used to triage patients with LRTI in low-income settings. Providing adequate oxygen, adequate intravenous fluids, and early antiretroviral therapy (in people living with HIV/AIDS) may be life-saving in hospitalized patients with LRTI.

[Available on 2019-12-15]

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