PMCC PMCC

Search tips
Search criteria

Advanced
Results 1-25 (81)
 

Clipboard (0)
None

Select a Filter Below

Journals
more »
Year of Publication
more »
1.  Quality of HIV Care and Mortality Rates in HIV-Infected Patients 
Links between human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) care quality indicators (QIs) and mortality rates are not well established. We assessed HIV-infected patients' baseline QIs; mortality rates during 24 805–person-years of follow-up were lower among patients receiving ≥80% of baseline HIV QIs.
Background. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act encourages healthcare systems to track quality-of-care measures; little is known about their impact on mortality rates. The objective of this study was to assess associations between HIV quality of care and mortality rates.
Methods. A longitudinal survival analysis of the Veterans Aging Cohort Study included 3038 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–infected patients enrolled between June 2002 and July 2008. The independent variable was receipt of ≥80% of 9 HIV quality indicators (QIs) abstracted from medical records in the 12 months after enrollment. Overall mortality rates through 2014 were assessed from the Veterans Health Administration, Medicare, and Social Security National Death Index records. We assessed associations between receiving ≥80% of HIV QIs and mortality rates using Kaplan–Meier survival analysis and adjusted Cox proportional hazards models. Results were stratified by unhealthy alcohol and illicit drug use.
Results. The majority of participants were male (97.5%) and black (66.8%), with a mean (standard deviation) age of 49.0 (8.8) years. Overall, 25.9% reported past-year unhealthy alcohol use and 28.4% reported past-year illicit drug use. During 24 805 person-years of follow-up (mean [standard deviation], 8.2 [3.3] years), those who received ≥80% of QIs experienced lower age-adjusted mortality rates (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.75; 95% confidence interval, .65–.86). Adjustment for disease severity attenuated the association.
Conclusions. Receipt of ≥80% of select HIV QIs is associated with improved survival in a sample of predominantly male, black, HIV-infected patients but was insufficient to overcome adjustment for disease severity. Interventions to ensure high-quality care and address underlying chronic illness may improve survival in HIV-infected patients.
doi:10.1093/cid/civ762
PMCID: PMC4690479  PMID: 26338783
alcohol; quality of health care; HIV; health care; opioid-related disorders
2.  Cost-effectiveness of Collaborative Care for Depression in Human Immunodeficiency Virus Clinics 
Objective
To examine the cost-effectiveness of the HITIDES intervention.
Design
Randomized controlled effectiveness and implementation trial comparing depression collaborative care with enhanced usual care.
Setting
Three Veterans Health Administration (VHA) HIV clinics in the Southern US.
Subjects
249 HIV-infected patients completed the baseline interview; 123 were randomized to the intervention and 126 to usual care.
Intervention
HITIDES consisted of an off-site HIV depression care team that delivered up to 12 months of collaborative care. The intervention used a stepped-care model for depression treatment and specific recommendations were based on the Texas Medication Algorithm Project and the VA/Department of Defense Depression Treatment Guidelines.
Main outcome measure(s)
Quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) were calculated using the 12-Item Short Form Health Survey, the Quality of Well Being Scale, and by converting depression-free days to QALYs. The base case analysis used outpatient, pharmacy, patient, and intervention costs. Cost-effectiveness was calculated using incremental cost effectiveness ratios (ICERs) and net health benefit (NHB). ICER distributions were generated using nonparametric bootstrap with replacement sampling.
Results
The HITIDES intervention was more effective and cost-saving compared to usual care in 78% of bootstrapped samples. The intervention NHB was positive and therefore deemed cost-effective using an ICER threshold of $50,000/QALY.
Conclusions
In HIV clinic settings this intervention was more effective and cost-saving compared to usual care. Implementation of off-site depression collaborative care programs in specialty care settings may be a strategy that not only improves outcomes for patients, but also maximizes the efficient use of limited healthcare resources.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0000000000000732
PMCID: PMC4626259  PMID: 26102447
3.  Association of COPD with risk for pulmonary infections requiring hospitalization in HIV-infected Veterans 
Background
Pulmonary infections remain more common in HIV-infected (HIV+) compared to uninfected individuals. The increase in chronic lung diseases among aging HIV+ individuals may contribute to this persistent risk. We sought to determine whether chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an independent risk factor for different pulmonary infections requiring hospitalization among HIV+ patients.
Methods
We analyzed data from 41,993 HIV+ Veterans in the nationwide Veterans Aging Cohort Study Virtual Cohort (VACS-VC) from 1996–2009. Using ICD-9 codes, we identified baseline comorbid conditions, including COPD, and incident community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) and Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PCP) requiring hospitalization within two years after baseline. We used multivariable Poisson regression to determine incidence rate ratios (IRR) associated with COPD for each type of pulmonary infection, adjusting for comorbidities, CD4+ cell count, HIV viral load, smoking status, substance use, vaccinations and calendar year at baseline.
Results
Unadjusted incidence rates of CAP, TB and PCP requiring hospitalization were significantly higher among persons with COPD compared to those without COPD (CAP: 53.9 vs. 19.4 per 1,000 person-years; TB: 8.7 vs. 2.8; PCP: 15.5 vs. 9.2; p ≤0.001). In multivariable Poisson regression models, COPD was independently associated with increased risk of CAP, TB and PCP (IRR 1.94, 95% CI 1.64–2.30; IRR 2.60, 95% CI 1.70–3.97; and IRR 1.48, 95% CI 1.10–2.01, respectively).
Conclusions
COPD is an independent risk factor for CAP, TB and PCP requiring hospitalization among HIV+ individuals. As the HIV+ population ages, the growing burden of COPD may confer substantial risk for pulmonary infections.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0000000000000751
PMCID: PMC4607625  PMID: 26181820
COPD; pulmonary infection; pneumonia; HIV; comorbidities
4.  Depression and HIV Infection are Risk Factors for Incident Heart Failure Among Veterans: Veterans Aging Cohort Study 
Circulation  2015;132(17):1630-1638.
Background
Both HIV and depression are associated with increased heart failure (HF) risk. Depression, a common comorbidity, may further increase the risk of HF among HIV+ adults. We assessed the association between HIV, depression and incident HF.
Methods and Results
Veterans Aging Cohort Study (VACS) participants free from cardiovascular disease at baseline (N = 81,427; 26,908 HIV+, 54,519 HIV-) were categorized into four groups: HIV- without major depressive disorder (MDD) [reference]; HIV- with MDD; HIV+ without MDD; and HIV+ with MDD. ICD-9 codes from medical records were used to determine MDD and the primary outcome, HF. After 5.8 follow-up years, HF rates per 1000 person-years were highest among HIV+ participants with MDD (9.32; 95% CI, 8.20–10.6). In Cox proportional hazards models, HIV+ participants with MDD had significantly higher risk of HF [adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) = 1.68; 95% CI, 1.45–1.95] compared to HIV- participants without MDD. MDD was associated with HF in separate fully adjusted models for HIV- and HIV+ participants (aHR = 1.21; 1.06–1.37 and 1.29; 1.11–1.51, respectively). Among those with MDD, baseline antidepressant use was associated with lower risk of incident HF events (aHR = 0.76; 0.58–0.99).
Conclusions
Our study is the first to suggest MDD is an independent risk factor for HF in HIV+ adults. These results reinforce the importance of identifying and managing MDD among HIV+ patients. Future studies must clarify mechanisms linking HIV, MDD, antidepressants, and HF; and identify interventions to reduce HF morbidity and mortality in those with both HIV and MDD.
doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.114.014443
PMCID: PMC4624488  PMID: 26358261
HIV infection; depression; psychiatric comorbidity; heart failure; epidemiology
5.  Proceedings of the 13th annual conference of INEBRIA 
Watson, Rod | Morris, James | Isitt, John | Barrio, Pablo | Ortega, Lluisa | Gual, Antoni | Conner, Kenneth | Stecker, Tracy | Maisto, Stephen | Paroz, Sophie | Graap, Caroline | Grazioli, Véronique S | Daeppen, Jean-Bernard | Collins, Susan E | Bertholet, Nicolas | McNeely, Jennifer | Kushnir, Vlad | Cunningham, John A. | Crombie, Iain K | Cunningham, Kathryn B | Irvine, Linda | Williams, Brian | Sniehotta, Falko F | Norrie, John | Melson, Ambrose | Jones, Claire | Briggs, Andrew | Rice, Peter | Achison, Marcus | McKenzie, Andrew | Dimova, Elena | Slane, Peter W | Grazioli, Véronique S. | Collins, Susan E. | Paroz, Sophie | Graap, Caroline | Daeppen, Jean-Bernard | Baggio, Stéphanie | Dupuis, Marc | Studer, Joseph | Gmel, Gerhard | Magill, Molly | Grazioli, Véronique S. | Tait, Robert J. | Teoh, Lucinda | Kelty, Erin | Geelhoed, Elizabeth | Mountain, David | Hulse, Gary K. | Renko, Elina | Mitchell, Shannon G. | Lounsbury, David | Li, Zhi | Schwartz, Robert P. | Gryczynski, Jan | Kirk, Arethusa S. | Oros, Marla | Hosler, Colleen | Dusek, Kristi | Brown, Barry S. | Finnell, Deborah S. | Holloway, Aisha | Wu, Li-Tzy | Subramaniam, Geetha | Sharma, Gaurav | Wallhed Finn, Sara | Andreasson, Sven | Dvorak, Robert D. | Kramer, Matthew P. | Stevenson, Brittany L. | Sargent, Emily M. | Kilwein, Tess M. | Harris, Sion K. | Sherritt, Lon | Copelas, Sarah | Knight, John R. | Mdege, Noreen D | McCambridge, Jim | Bischof, Gallus | Bischof, Anja | Freyer-Adam, Jennis | Rumpf, Hans-Juergen | Fitzgerald, Niamh | Schölin, Lisa | Toner, Paul | Böhnke, Jan R. | Veach, Laura J. | Currin, Olivia | Dongre, Leigh Z. | Miller, Preston R. | White, Elizabeth | Williams, Emily C. | Lapham, Gwen T. | Bobb, Jennifer J. | Rubinsky, Anna D. | Catz, Sheryl L. | Shortreed, Susan | Bensley, Kara M. | Bradley, Katharine A. | Milward, Joanna | Deluca, Paolo | Khadjesari, Zarnie | Watson, Rod | Fincham-Campbell, Stephanie | Drummond, Colin | Angus, Kathryn | Bauld, Linda | Baumann, Sophie | Haberecht, Katja | Schnuerer, Inga | Meyer, Christian | Rumpf, Hans-Jürgen | John, Ulrich | Gaertner, Beate | Barrault-Couchouron, Marion | Béracochéa, Marion | Allafort, Vincent | Barthélémy, Valérie | Bonnefoi, Hervé | Bussières, Emmanuel | Garguil, Véronique | Auriacombe, Marc | Saint-Jacques, Marianne | Dorval, Michel | M’Bailara, Katia | Segura-Garcia, Lidia | Ibañez-Martinez, Nuria | Mendive-Arbeloa, Juan Manuel | Anoro-Perminger, Manel | Diaz-Gallego, Pako | Piñar-Mateos, Mª Angeles | Colom-Farran, Joan | Deligianni, Marianthi | Yersin, Bertrand | Adam, Angeline | Weisner, Constance | Chi, Felicia | Lu, Wendy | Sterling, Stacy | Kraemer, Kevin L. | McGinnis, Kathleen A. | Fiellin, David A. | Skanderson, Melissa | Gordon, Adam J. | Robbins, Jonathan | Zickmund, Susan | Korthuis, P. Todd | Edelman, E. Jennifer | Hansen, Nathan B. | Cutter, Christopher J. | Dziura, James | Fiellin, Lynn E. | O’Connor, Patrick G. | Maisto, Stephen A. | Bedimo, Roger | Gilbert, Cynthia | Marconi, Vincent C. | Rimland, David | Rodriguez-Barradas, Maria | Simberkoff, Michael | Justice, Amy C. | Bryant, Kendall J. | Berman, Anne H | Shorter, Gillian W | Bray, Jeremy W | Barbosa, Carolina | Johansson, Magnus | Hester, Reid | Campbell, William | Souza Formigoni, Maria Lucia O. | Andrade, André Luzi Monezi | Sartes, Laisa Marcorela Andreoli | Sundström, Christopher | Eék, Niels | Kraepelien, Martin | Kaldo, Viktor | Fahlke, Claudia | Hernandez, Lynn | Becker, Sara J. | Jones, Richard N. | Graves, Hannah R. | Spirito, Anthony | Diestelkamp, Silke | Wartberg, Lutz | Arnaud, Nicolas | Thomasius, Rainer | Gaume, Jacques | Grazioli, Véronique | Fortini, Cristiana | Malan, Zelra | Mash, Bob | Everett-Murphy, Katherine | Grazioli, Véronique S. | Studer, Joseph | Mohler-Kuo, M. | Bertholet, Nicolas | Gmel, Gerhard | Doi, Lawrence | Cheyne, Helen | Jepson, Ruth | Luna, Vanesa | Echeverria, Leticia | Morales, Silvia | Barroso, Teresa | Abreu, Ângela | Aguiar, Cosma | Stewart, Duncan | Abreu, Angela | Brites, Riany M. | Jomar, Rafael | Marinho, Gerson | Parreira, Pedro | Seale, J. Paul | Johnson, J. Aaron | Henry, Dena | Chalmers, Sharon | Payne, Freida | Tuck, Linda | Morris, Akula | Gonçalves, Cátia | Besser, Bettina | Casajuana, Cristina | López-Pelayo, Hugo | Balcells, María Mercedes | Teixidó, Lídia | Miquel, Laia | Colom, Joan | Hepner, Kimberly A. | Hoggatt, Katherine. J. | Bogart, Andy | Paddock, Susan. M. | Hardoon, Sarah L | Petersen, Irene | Hamilton, Fiona L | Nazareth, Irwin | White, Ian R. | Marston, Louise | Wallace, Paul | Godfrey, Christine | Murray, Elizabeth | Sovinová, Hana | Csémy, Ladislav
doi:10.1186/s13722-016-0062-9
PMCID: PMC5032602  PMID: 27654147
7.  Liver Fibrosis Progression in Hepatitis C Virus Infection After Seroconversion 
JAMA internal medicine  2015;175(2):178-185.
IMPORTANCE
Knowing the rate of liver fibrosis progression in hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected persons can help inform patients and providers (clinicians, medical institutions or organizations, and third-party payers) in making treatment decisions.
OBJECTIVE
To determine the rate and factors associated with liver fibrosis progression and hepatic decompensation in persons after acquiring HCV infection.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS
Secondary data analysis of persons in the Electronically Retrieved Cohort of HCV Infected Veterans (ERCHIVES), a national Veterans Affairs (VA) database, between 2002 and 2012. Among 610 514 persons in ERCHIVES (half were HCV positive), we identified those with an initial negative and subsequent positive test result for HCV antibody and positive HCV RNA test result (HCV+). Controls had 2 negative HCV antibody test results (HCV−) in a comparable time frame and were matched 1:1 on age (in 5-year blocks), race, and sex. We excluded persons with human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis B, less than 24 months of follow-up, hepatocellular carcinoma, and cirrhosis at baseline.
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES
Progression of liver fibrosis as estimated by the Fibrosis-4 (FIB-4) index; development of cirrhosis, defined by a FIB-4 score greater than 3.5; and development of hepatic decompensation.
RESULTS
The evaluable data set consisted of 1840 persons who were HCV+ and 1840 HCV-controls. The HCV+ persons were younger and had a lower mean (SD) body mass index (27.39 [5.51] vs 29.49 [6.16]; P < .001), a higher prevalence of alcohol and drug abuse and dependence diagnoses, and higher serum aminotransferase levels, but had a lower prevalence of diabetes and hypertension. Fibrosis progression started early after infection among HCV+ persons and tapered off after 5 years. A total of 452 cirrhosis and 85 hepatic decompensation events were recorded. After 10 years of follow-up, HCV+ persons were more likely to have a diagnosis of cirrhosis compared with HCV− controls (18.4% vs 6.1%). Nine years after diagnosis of cirrhosis, hepatic decompensation events were uncommon but had a higher rate in the HCV+ group (1.79% vs 0.33%).
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE
Persons who seroconverted for HCV have a more rapid progression of liver fibrosis and accelerated time to development of cirrhosis after seroconversion compared with HCV− controls. Fibrosis progression occurs early after infection; however, hepatic decompensation is uncommon after diagnosis of cirrhosis.
doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.6502
PMCID: PMC5017246  PMID: 25485735
8.  Thirty-Day Postoperative Mortality Among Individuals With HIV Infection Receiving Antiretroviral Therapy and Procedure-Matched, Uninfected Comparators 
JAMA surgery  2015;150(4):343-351.
IMPORTANCE
Antiretroviral therapy (ART) has converted human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection into a chronic condition, and patients now undergo a variety of surgical procedures, but current surgical outcomes are inadequately characterized.
OBJECTIVE
To compare 30-day postoperative mortality in patients with HIV infection receiving ART with the rates in uninfected individuals.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS
Retrospective analysis of nationwide electronic medical record data from the US Veterans Health Administration Healthcare System, October 1, 1996, to September 30, 2010. Common inpatient surgical procedures were grouped using the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Clinical Classification System to match HIV-infected and uninfected patients in a 1:2 ratio. Data on 1641 patients with HIV infection receiving combination ART who were undergoing inpatient surgery were compared with data on 3282 procedure-matched, uninfected comparators. Poisson regression models of 30-day postoperative mortality were adjusted for procedure year, age, Charlson Comorbidity Index score, hemoglobin level, albumin level, HIV infection, CD4 cell count, and HIV-1 RNA level.
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES
All-cause 30-day postoperative mortality.
RESULTS
The most common procedures in both groups were cholecystectomy (10.5%), hip arthroplasty (10.5%), spine surgery (9.8%), herniorrhaphy (7.4%), and coronary artery bypass grafting (7.0%). In patients with HIV infection, CD4 cell distributions were 80.0% with 200/µL or more, 16.3% with 50/µL to 199/µL, and 3.7% with less than 50/µL; 74.1% of patients with HIV infection had undetectable HIV-1 RNA. Human immunodeficiency virus infection was associated with higher 30-day postoperative mortality compared with the mortality in uninfected patients (3.4% [56 patients]) vs 1.6% [53]); incidence rate ratio [IRR], 2.11; 95% CI, 1.41–3.17; P < .001). CD4 cell count was inversely associated with mortality, but HIV-1 RNA provided no additional information. After adjustment, patients with HIV infection had increased mortality compared with uninfected patients at all CD4 cell count strata (≥500/µL: IRR, 1.92; 95% CI, 1.02–3.60; P = .04; 200–499/µL: IRR, 1.89; 95% CI, 1.20–2.98; P = .01; 50–199/µL: IRR, 2.66; 95% CI, 1.29–5.47; P = .01; and <50/µL: IRR, 6.21; 95% CI, 3.55–10.85; P < .001). Hypoalbuminemia (IRR, 4.35; 95% CI, 2.78–6.81; P < .001) and age in decades (IRR, 1.47; 95% CI, 1.23–1.76; P < .001) were also strongly associated with mortality.
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE
Current postoperative mortality rates among individuals with HIV infection who are receiving ART are low and are influenced as much by hypoalbuminemia and age as by CD4 cell status. Human immunodeficiency virus infection and CD4 cell count are only 2 of many factors associated with surgical outcomes that should be incorporated into surgical decision making.
doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2014.2257
PMCID: PMC5015449  PMID: 25714794
9.  Rural Residence and Adoption of a Novel HIV Therapy in a National, Equal-Access Healthcare System 
AIDS and behavior  2013;17(1):250-259.
Rural persons with HIV face barriers to care that may influence adoption of advances in therapy. We performed a retrospective cohort study to determine rural–urban variation in adoption of raltegravir—the first HIV integrase inhibitor—in national Veterans Afffairs (VA) healthcare. There were 1,222 veterans with clinical indication for raltegravir therapy at time of its FDA approval in October 2007, of whom 223 (19.1%) resided in rural areas. Urban persons were more likely than rural to initiate raltegravir within 180 days (17.3% vs. 11.2%, P = 0.02) and 360 days (27.5% vs. 19.7%, P = 0.02), but this gap narrowed slightly at 720 days (36.3% vs. 31.8%, P = 0.19). In multivariable analysis adjusting for patient characteristics, urban residence predicted raltegravir adoption within 180 days (odds ratio 1.72, 95% CI 1.09–2.70) and 360 days (OR 1.63, 95% CI 1.13–2.34), but not 720 days (OR 1.26, 95% CI 0.84–1.87). Efforts are needed to reduce geographic variation in adoption of advances in HIV therapy.
doi:10.1007/s10461-011-0107-8
PMCID: PMC5009625  PMID: 22205324
HIV; Diffusion of innovation; Rural health
10.  Safety and Immunogenicity of a Subvirion Monovalent Unadjuvanted Inactivated Influenza A(H3N2) Variant Vaccine in Healthy Persons ≥18 Years Old 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2015;212(4):552-561.
Background
Variant influenza A(H3N2) viruses (H3N2v) have transmitted recently from pigs to humans in the United States. Vaccines strategies are needed.
Methods
Healthy adults received 2 doses of subvirion H3N2v vaccine (15 µg of hemagglutinin/dose) 21 days apart in this open-label trial. Serum hemagglutination inhibition (HAI) and neutralizing (Neut) antibody (Ab) titers were measured before and 8 and 21 days after each dose. Memory B-cell (MBC) responses were assessed.
Results
Vaccine was well tolerated. A total of 40% of subjects had an HAI Ab titer of ≥40 before vaccination. Eight-seven percent (95% confidence interval [CI], 79%–93%) and 73% (95% CI, 63%–81%) of subjects 18–64 years old (98 subjects) and ≥65 years old (90 subjects), respectively, had an HAI titer of ≥40 21 days after dose 1 (P = .01); 51% (95% CI, 41%–61%) and 52% (95% CI, 41%–62%) of younger and older subjects, respectively, developed ≥4-fold rises in titer (P = not significant). Neut Ab response patterns were similar. Geometric mean titers were higher in younger subjects. Dose 2 provided no significant enhancement in responses. Cross-reactive MBCs were detected before vaccination and expanded after vaccination. Preexisting H3N2v-specific MBCs positively correlated with early increases in vaccine-induced Ab.
Conclusions
In most healthy adults, one 15-µg dose of vaccine elicited levels of HAI Abs associated with protection. Studies in children and elderly individuals are indicated to define the immunization needs of these groups.
Clinical Trials Registration
NCT01746082.
doi:10.1093/infdis/jiv056
PMCID: PMC4539893  PMID: 25649171
influenza; pandemic; H3N2 variant; immune responses; immunization
11.  Adherence and HIV RNA Suppression in the Current Era of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) 
Background
We examined trends in adherence to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) and HIV RNA suppression, and estimated the minimum cutoff of adherence to newer HAART formulations needed for HIV RNA suppression by regimen type.
Methods
We used VA pharmacy dispensing data from the Veterans Aging Cohort Study Virtual Cohort between October 2000 and September 2010, and defined adherence as the duration of time the patient had the medications available, relative to the total number of days between refills for all antiretrovirals in a year. Temporal trends in adherence and viral load suppression were examined by the patient's most frequently used HAART regimen in the year. The minimum needed adherence was defined as the level at which the odds of suppression was not significantly different than that observed with ≥95% adherence using repeated measures logistic regression.
Results
21,865 HAART users contributed 82,217 person-years of follow-up. There was a significant increase (ptrend<0.001) in the proportion virally suppressed even among those with <95% adherence (2001: 38% to 2010: 84%) and the trend was similar when restricting to their first HAART regimen. For NNRTI multi-pill users, the odds of suppression did not differ for 85-89% adherence compared to those with ≥95% adherence, odds ratios: 0.82 (0.64,1.04), but for PI users, the odds of suppression significantly differed if adherence levels were <95% compared to ≥95% adherence.
Conclusions
Although all HIV-infected persons should be instructed to achieve perfect adherence, concerns of slightly lower adherence should not hinder prescribing new HAART regimens early in HIV infection.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0000000000000643
PMCID: PMC4482798  PMID: 25886923
Adherence; current HAART; HIV RNA suppression; Veterans Health Administration Center
12.  Impact of Defined Clinical Population and Missing Data on Temporal Trends in HIV Viral Load Estimation within a Healthcare System 
HIV medicine  2015;16(6):346-354.
Background
Community viral load (CVL) estimates vary based on analytic methods. We extended the CVL concept and used data from the Veterans Affairs Healthcare System (VA) to determine trends in the healthcare system viral load (HSVL), sensitivity to varying definitions of the clinical population, and assumptions regarding missing data.
Methods
We included HIV-infected patients in the Veterans Aging Cohort Study, 2000-2010, with >1 documented CD4 count, HIV-1 RNA or antiretroviral prescription (N=37,318). We created 6-month intervals including patients with ≥1 visit in the past 2 years. We assessed temporal trends in clinical population size, patient clinical status and mean HSVL and explored the impact of varying definitions of the clinical population and assumptions about missing viral load.
Results
The clinical population size varied by definition, increasing from 16,000–19,000 patients in 2000 to 23,000–26,000 in 2010. The proportion of patients with suppressed HIV-1 RNA increased over time. Over 20% of patients had no viral load measured in a given interval or prior two years. Among patients with a current HIV-1 RNA, mean HSVL decreased from 97,800 in 2000 to 2,000 copies/mL in 2010. When current HIV-1 RNA data were unavailable and the HSVL was recalculated using the last available HIV-1 RNA, HSVL decreased from 322,300 to 9,900 copies/mL. HSVL was underestimated when using only current data in each interval.
Conclusion
The CVL concept can be applied to a healthcare system, providing a measure of healthcare quality. Like CVL, HSVL estimates depend on definitions of the clinical population and assumptions about missing data.
doi:10.1111/hiv.12219
PMCID: PMC4478104  PMID: 25688937
HIV; community viral load; population surveillance; quality of health care; epidemiologic methods
13.  Weight Change After Antiretroviral Therapy and Mortality 
This study examines weight change in human immunodeficiency virus-infected veterans after 1 year of antiretroviral therapy (ART). Survival benefits of weight gain after ART initiation depended on baseline body mass index, and markers of disease severity predicted weight gain.
Background. Weight gain after antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation is common, but its implication for mortality is unknown. We evaluated weight change in the first year after ART initiation and its association with subsequent mortality.
Methods. Human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients from the Veterans Aging Cohort Study (VACS) who initiated ART between 2000 and 2008, with weight recorded at baseline and 1 year later, were followed another 5 years for mortality. Baseline body mass index (BMI) was classified as underweight (<18.5 kg/m2), normal (18.5–24.9 kg/m2), overweight (25–29.9 kg/m2), and obese (≥30 kg/m2). We used multivariable Cox models to assess mortality risk with adjustment for disease severity using the VACS Index.
Results. The sample consisted of 4184 men and 127 women with a mean age of 47.9 ± 10.0 years. After 1 year of ART, median weight change was 5.9 pounds (2.7 kg) (interquartile range, −2.9 to 17.0 pounds, −1.3 to 7.7 kg). Weight gain after ART initiation was associated with lower mortality among underweight and normal-weight patients. A minimum threshold of 10- to 19.9-pound (4.5 to 9.0 kg) weight gain was beneficial for normal-weight patients (hazard ratio, 0.56; 95% confidence interval, .41–.78), but there was no clear benefit to weight gain for overweight/obese patients. Baseline weight, CD4 cell count status, and hemoglobin level were strongly associated with weight gain. Risk for weight gain was higher among those with greater disease severity, regardless of weight at initiation.
Conclusions. The survival benefits of weight gain after ART initiation are dependent on starting BMI. Weight gain after ART is associated with lower mortality for those who are not initially overweight.
doi:10.1093/cid/civ192
PMCID: PMC4542664  PMID: 25761868
HIV; veterans; weight; antiretroviral therapy; BMI
14.  Do Biomarkers of Inflammation, Monocyte Activation, and Altered Coagulation Explain Excess Mortality Between HIV Infected and Uninfected People? 
Supplemental Digital Content is Available in the Text.
Background:
HIV infection and biomarkers of inflammation [measured by interleukin-6 (IL-6)], monocyte activation [soluble CD14 (sCD14)], and coagulation (D-dimer) are associated with morbidity and mortality. We hypothesized that these immunologic processes mediate (explain) some of the excess risk of mortality among HIV infected (HIV+) versus uninfected people independently of comorbid diseases.
Methods:
Among 2350 (1521 HIV+) participants from the Veterans Aging Cohort Study Biomarker Cohort (VACS BC), we investigated whether the association between HIV and mortality was altered by adjustment for IL-6, sCD14, and D-dimer, accounting for confounders. Participants were followed from date of blood draw for biomarker assays (baseline) until death or July 25, 2013. Analyses included ordered logistic regression and Cox Proportional Hazards regression.
Results:
During 6.9 years (median), 414 deaths occurred. The proportional odds of being in a higher quartile of IL-6, sCD14, or D-dimer were 2–3 fold higher for viremic HIV+ versus uninfected people. Mortality rates were higher among HIV+ compared with uninfected people [incidence rate ratio (95% CI): 1.31 (1.06 to 1.62)]. Mortality risk increased with increasing quartiles of IL-6, sCD14, and D-dimer regardless of HIV status. Adjustment for IL-6, sCD14, and D-dimer partially attenuated mortality risk among HIV+ people with unsuppressed viremia (HIV-1 RNA ≥10,000 copies per milliliter) compared with uninfected people—hazard ratio (95% CI) decreased from 2.18 (1.60 to 2.99) to 2.00 (1.45 to 2.76).
Conclusions:
HIV infection is associated with elevated IL-6, sCD14, and D-dimer, which are in turn associated with mortality. Baseline measures of these biomarkers partially mediate excess mortality risk among HIV+ versus uninfected people.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0000000000000954
PMCID: PMC4867134  PMID: 26885807
HIV; mortality; inflammation; monocyte activation; coagulation
15.  HIV status and the risk of ischemic stroke among men 
Neurology  2015;84(19):1933-1940.
Objective:
Given conflicting data regarding the association of HIV infection and ischemic stroke risk, we sought to determine whether HIV infection conferred an increased ischemic stroke risk among male veterans.
Methods:
The Veterans Aging Cohort Study–Virtual Cohort consists of HIV-infected and uninfected veterans in care matched (1:2) for age, sex, race/ethnicity, and clinical site. We analyzed data on 76,835 male participants in the Veterans Aging Cohort Study–Virtual Cohort who were free of baseline cardiovascular disease. We assessed demographics, ischemic stroke risk factors, comorbid diseases, substance use, HIV biomarkers, and incidence of ischemic stroke from October 1, 2003, to December 31, 2009.
Results:
During a median follow-up period of 5.9 (interquartile range 3.5–6.6) years, there were 910 stroke events (37.4% HIV-infected). Ischemic stroke rates per 1,000 person-years were higher for HIV-infected (2.79, 95% confidence interval 2.51–3.10) than for uninfected veterans (2.24 [2.06–2.43]) (incidence rate ratio 1.25 [1.09–1.43]; p < 0.01). After adjusting for demographics, ischemic stroke risk factors, comorbid diseases, and substance use, the risk of ischemic stroke was higher among male veterans with HIV infection compared with uninfected veterans (hazard ratio 1.17 [1.01–1.36]; p = 0.04).
Conclusions:
HIV infection is associated with an increased ischemic stroke risk among HIV-infected compared with demographically and behaviorally similar uninfected male veterans.
doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000001560
PMCID: PMC4433456  PMID: 25862803
16.  D-Dimer Levels before HIV Seroconversion Remain Elevated Even after Viral Suppression and Are Associated with an Increased Risk of Non-AIDS Events 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(4):e0152588.
The mechanism underlying the excess risk of non-AIDS diseases among HIV infected people is unclear. HIV associated inflammation/hypercoagulability likely plays a role. While antiretroviral therapy (ART) may return this process to pre-HIV levels, this has not been directly demonstrated. We analyzed data/specimens on 249 HIV+ participants from the US Military HIV Natural History Study, a prospective, multicenter observational cohort of >5600 active duty military personnel and beneficiaries living with HIV. We used stored blood specimens to measure D-dimer and Interleukin-6 (IL-6) at three time points: pre-HIV seroconversion, ≥6 months post-HIV seroconversion but prior to ART initiation, and ≥6 months post-ART with documented HIV viral suppression on two successive evaluations. We evaluated the changes in biomarker levels between time points, and the association between these biomarker changes and future non-AIDS events. During a median follow-up of 3.7 years, there were 28 incident non-AIDS diseases. At ART initiation, the median CD4 count was 361cells/mm3; median duration of documented HIV infection 392 days; median time on ART was 354 days. Adjusted mean percent increase in D-dimer levels from pre-seroconversion to post-ART was 75.1% (95% confidence interval 24.6–148.0, p = 0.002). This increase in D-dimer was associated with a significant 22% increase risk of future non-AIDS events (p = 0.03). Changes in IL-6 levels across time points were small and not associated with future non-AIDS events. In conclusion, ART initiation and HIV viral suppression does not eliminate HIV associated elevation in D-dimer levels. This residual pathology is associated with an increased risk of future non-AIDS diseases.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0152588
PMCID: PMC4835105  PMID: 27088215
17.  HIV Infection and the Risk of Acute Myocardial Infarction 
JAMA internal medicine  2013;173(8):614-622.
Importance
Whether people infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are at an increased risk of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) compared with uninfected people is not clear. Without demographically and behaviorally similar uninfected comparators and without uniformly measured clinical data on risk factors and fatal and nonfatal AMI events, any potential association between HIV status and AMI may be confounded.
Objective
To investigate whether HIV is associated with an increased risk of AMI after adjustment for all standard Framingham risk factors among a large cohort of HIV-positive and demographically and behaviorally similar (ie, similar prevalence of smoking, alcohol, and cocaine use) uninfected veterans in care.
Design and Setting
Participants in the Veterans Aging Cohort Study Virtual Cohort from April 1, 2003, through December 31, 2009.
Participants
After eliminating those with baseline cardiovascular disease, we analyzed data on HIV status, age, sex, race/ethnicity, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, smoking, hepatitis C infection, body mass index, renal disease, anemia, substance use, CD4 cell count, HIV-1 RNA, antiretroviral therapy, and incidence of AMI.
Main Outcome Measure
Acute myocardial infarction.
Results
We analyzed data on 82 459 participants. During a median follow-up of 5.9 years, there were 871 AMI events. Across 3 decades of age, the mean (95% CI) AMI events per 1000 person-years was consistently and significantly higher for HIV-positive compared with uninfected veterans: for those aged 40 to 49 years, 2.0 (1.6-2.4) vs 1.5 (1.3-1.7); for those aged 50 to 59 years, 3.9 (3.3-4.5) vs 2.2 (1.9-2.5); and for those aged 60 to 69 years, 5.0 (3.8-6.7) vs 3.3 (2.6-4.2) (P < .05 for all). After adjusting for Framingham risk factors, comorbidities, and substance use, HIV-positive veterans had an increased risk of incident AMI compared with uninfected veterans (hazard ratio, 1.48; 95% CI, 1.27-1.72). An excess risk remained among those achieving an HIV-1 RNA level less than 500 copies/mL compared with uninfected veterans in time-updated analyses (hazard ratio, 1.39; 95% CI, 1.17-1.66).
Conclusions and Relevance
Infection with HIV is associated with a 50% increased risk of AMI beyond that explained by recognized risk factors.
doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.3728
PMCID: PMC4766798  PMID: 23459863
18.  Comparison of Risk and Age at Diagnosis of Myocardial Infarction, End-Stage Renal Disease, and Non-AIDS-Defining Cancer in HIV-Infected Versus Uninfected Adults 
Although HIV-infected veterans had a higher risk of myocardial infarction, end-stage renal disease, and non-AIDS-defining cancer, diagnosis with these conditions were occurring at similar ages compared with HIV-uninfected veterans.
Background. Although it has been shown that human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected adults are at greater risk for aging-associated events, it remains unclear as to whether these events happen at similar, or younger ages, in HIV-infected compared with uninfected adults. The objective of this study was to compare the median age at, and risk of, incident diagnosis of 3 age-associated diseases in HIV-infected and demographically similar uninfected adults.
Methods. The study was nested in the clinical prospective Veterans Aging Cohort Study of HIV-infected and demographically matched uninfected veterans, from 1 April 2003 to 31 December 2010. The outcomes were validated diagnoses of myocardial infarction (MI), end-stage renal disease (ESRD), and non-AIDS-defining cancer (NADC). Differences in mean age at, and risk of, diagnosis by HIV status were estimated using multivariate linear regression models and Cox proportional hazards models, respectively.
Results. A total of 98 687 (31% HIV-infected and 69% uninfected) adults contributed >450 000 person-years and 689 MI, 1135 ESRD, and 4179 NADC incident diagnoses. Mean age at MI (adjusted mean difference, −0.11; 95% confidence interval [CI], −.59 to .37 years) and NADC (adjusted mean difference, −0.10 [95% CI, −.30 to .10] years) did not differ by HIV status. HIV-infected adults were diagnosed with ESRD at an average age of 5.5 months younger than uninfected adults (adjusted mean difference, −0.46 [95% CI, −.86 to −.07] years). HIV-infected adults had a greater risk of all 3 outcomes compared with uninfected adults after accounting for important confounders.
Conclusions. HIV-infected adults had a higher risk of these age-associated events, but they occurred at similar ages than those without HIV.
doi:10.1093/cid/ciu869
PMCID: PMC4318916  PMID: 25362204
HIV infection; aging; myocardial infarction; end-stage renal disease; non-AIDS-defining cancers
19.  Prevalence and correlates of obstructive sleep apnea among patients with and without HIV infection 
HIV medicine  2014;16(2):105-113.
Objectives
In HIV-uninfected populations, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is commonly associated with cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, and cognitive impairment. These comorbidities are common in HIV-infected patients, but there are scarce data regarding OSA in HIV-infected patients. Therefore, we examined the prevalence and correlates of OSA in a cohort of HIV-infected and uninfected patients.
Design
Observational cohort study.
Methods
Electronic medical record and self-report data were examined in patients enrolled in the Veterans Aging Cohort Study (VACS) between 2002-2008 and followed through 2010. The primary outcome was OSA diagnosis, determined using ICD-9 codes, in HIV-infected compared with uninfected. We used regression analyses to determine the association between OSA diagnosis, symptoms and comorbidities in adjusted models.
Results
Of 3,683 HIV-infected and 3,641 uninfected patients, 143 (3.9%) and 453 (12.4%) had a diagnosis of OSA (p<0.0001), respectively. HIV-infected patients were more likely to report symptoms associated with sleep and OSA such as tiredness and fatigue. Compared with uninfected patients with OSA, HIV-infected patients with OSA were younger, had lower BMIs, and were less likely to have hypertension. In models adjusting for these traditional OSA risk factors, HIV infection was associated with markedly reduced odds of OSA diagnosis (odds ratio=0.48; 95% confidence interval 0.39—0.60).
Conclusions
HIV-infected patients are less likely to receive a diagnosis of OSA. Future studies are needed to determine whether the lower prevalence of OSA diagnoses in HIV-infected patients is due to decreased screening and detection or due to a truly decreased likelihood of OSA in the setting of HIV.
doi:10.1111/hiv.12182
PMCID: PMC4300288  PMID: 25230851
HIV; Sleep apnea obstructive; Sleep apnea syndromes; Fatigue; Obesity
20.  Human immunodeficiency virus infection, cardiovascular risk factor profile and risk for acute myocardial infarction 
Background
Traditional cardiovascular disease risk factors (CVDRFs) increase the risk of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) among HIV infected (HIV+) patients. We assessed the association between HIV and incident AMI within CVDRF strata.
Methods
Cohort
81322 participants (33% HIV+) without prevalent CVD from the Veterans Aging Cohort Study-Virtual Cohort (prospective study of HIV+ and matched HIV− veterans). Veterans were followed from first clinical encounter on/after 4/1/2003 until AMI/death/last follow-up date (12/31/2009).
Predictors
HIV, CVDRFs (total cholesterol, cholesterol-lowering agents, blood-pressure (BP), BP medication, smoking, diabetes) used to create 6 mutually exclusive profiles: all CVDRFs optimal, 1+ non-optimal CVDRFs, 1+ elevated CVDRFs, and 1, 2, 3+ major CVDRFs.
Outcome
Incident AMI (defined using enzyme, EKG clinical data, 410 inpatient ICD-9 (Medicare), and/or death certificates). Statistics: Cox models adjusted for demographics, comorbidity, and substance use.
Results
858 AMIs (42% HIV+) occurred over 5.9 years (median). Prevalence of optimal cardiac health was <2%. Optimal CVDRF profile was associated with the lowest adjusted AMI rates. Compared to HIV− veterans, AMI rates among HIV+ veterans with similar CVDRF profiles were higher. Compared to HIV− veterans without major CVDRFs, HIV+ veterans without major CVDRFs had a 2-fold increased risk of AMI (HR: 2.0 95%CI: 1.0–3.9, p=0.044).
Conclusion
The prevalence of optimal cardiac health is low in this cohort. Among those without major CVDRFs, HIV+ veterans have twice the AMI risk. Compared to HIV− veterans with high CVDRF burden, AMI rates were still higher in HIV+ veterans. Preventing/reducing CVDRF burden may reduce excess AMI risk among HIV+ people.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0000000000000419
PMCID: PMC4441201  PMID: 25588033
HIV; optimal cardiovascular health; myocardial infarction
21.  Guideline-Concordant Management of Opioid Therapy among HIV-Infected and Uninfected Veterans 
Whether patients receive guideline-concordant opioid therapy (OT) is largely unknown and may vary based on provider and patient characteristics. We assessed the extent to which HIV-infected and uninfected patients initiating long-term (≥90-days) OT received care concordant with American Pain Society/American Academy of Pain Medicine and Department of Veterans Affairs/Department of Defense guidelines by measuring receipt of 17 indicators during the first 6 months of OT. Of 20,753 patients, HIV-infected patients (n= 6,604) were more likely than uninfected patients to receive a primary care provider (PCP) visit within 1-month (52.0% vs. 30.9%) and 6-months (90.7% vs. 73.7%) and urine drug tests (UDTs) within 1-month (14.8% vs. 11.5%) and 6-months (19.5% vs. 15.4%; all p < .001). HIV-infected patients were also more likely to receive OT concurrent with sedatives (24.6% vs. 19.6%) and an untreated substance use disorder (SUD; 21.6% vs. 17.2%). Among both patient groups, only modest changes in guideline-concordance were observed over time: UDTs and OT concurrent with untreated SUDs increased, while sedative co-prescriptions decreased (all p for trend < .001). Over a 10-year period, on average, patients received no more than 40% of recommended indicators. OT guideline-concordant care is rare in primary care, varies by patient/provider characteristics, and has undergone few changes over time.
Perspective
The promulgation of OT clinical guidelines has not resulted in substantive changes over time in OT management, which falls well short of the standard recommended by leading medical societies. Strategies are needed to increase the provision of OT guideline-concordant care for all patients.
doi:10.1016/j.jpain.2014.08.004
PMCID: PMC4253900  PMID: 25152300
Opioid analgesics; practice guideline; quality of health care; chronic pain; HIV
22.  Disparities in Rates of Spine Surgery for Degenerative Spine Disease Between HIV Infected and Uninfected Veterans 
Spine  2012;37(7):612-622.
Study Design
Retrospective analysis of nationwide Veterans Health Administration (VA) clinical and administrative data.
Objective
Examine the association between HIV infection and the rate of spine surgery for degenerative spine disease.
Summary of Background Data
Combination anti-retroviral therapy (cART) has prolonged survival in patients with HIV/AIDS, increasing the prevalence of chronic conditions such as degenerative spine disease that may require spine surgery.
Methods
We studied all HIV infected patients under care in the VA from 1996–2008 (n=40,038) and uninfected comparator patients (n=79,039) matched on age, gender, race, year, and geographic region. The primary outcome was spine surgery for degenerative spine disease defined by ICD-9 procedure and diagnosis codes. We used a multivariate Poisson regression to model spine surgery rates by HIV infection status, adjusting for factors that might affect suitability for surgery (demographics, year, comorbidities, body mass index, cART, and laboratory values).
Results
Two-hundred twenty eight HIV infected and 784 uninfected patients underwent spine surgery for degenerative spine disease during 700,731 patient-years of follow-up (1.44 surgeries per 1,000 patient-years). The most common procedures were spinal decompression (50%), and decompression and fusion (33%); the most common surgical sites were the lumbosacral (50%), and cervical (40%) spine. Adjusted rates of surgery were lower for HIV infected patients (0.86 per 1,000 patient-years of follow-up) than for uninfected patients (1.41 per 1,000 patient-years; IRR 0.61, 95% CI: 0.51, 0.74, P<0.001). Among HIV infected patients, there was a trend towards lower rates of spine surgery in patients with detectable viral loads levels (IRR 0.76, 95% CI: 0.55, 1.05, P=0.099).
Conclusion
In the VA, HIV infected patients experience significantly reduced rates of surgery for degenerative spine disease. Possible explanations include disease prevalence, emphasis on treatment of non-spine HIV-related symptoms, surgical referral patterns, impact of HIV on surgery risk-benefit ratio, patient preferences, and surgeon bias.
doi:10.1097/BRS.0b013e318228f32d
PMCID: PMC4507821  PMID: 21697770
disparities; HIV/AIDS; spine; surgery; outcomes
23.  Predicting Risk of End-Stage Liver Disease in Antiretroviral-Treated Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Hepatitis C Virus-Coinfected Patients 
Open Forum Infectious Diseases  2015;2(3):ofv109.
Background. End-stage liver disease (ESLD) is an important cause of morbidity among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/hepatitis C virus (HCV)-coinfected patients. Quantifying the risk of this outcome over time could help determine which coinfected patients should be targeted for risk factor modification and HCV treatment. We evaluated demographic, clinical, and laboratory variables to predict risk of ESLD in HIV/HCV-coinfected patients receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART).
Methods. We conducted a retrospective cohort study among 6016 HIV/HCV-coinfected patients who received ART within the Veterans Health Administration between 1997 and 2010. The main outcome was incident ESLD, defined by hepatic decompensation, hepatocellular carcinoma, or liver-related death. Cox regression was used to develop prognostic models based on baseline demographic, clinical, and laboratory variables, including FIB-4 and aspartate aminotransferase-to-platelet ratio index, previously validated markers of hepatic fibrosis. Model performance was assessed by discrimination and decision curve analysis.
Results. Among 6016 HIV/HCV patients, 532 (8.8%) developed ESLD over a median of 6.6 years. A model comprising FIB-4 and race had modest discrimination for ESLD (c-statistic, 0.73) and higher net benefit than alternative strategies of treating no or all coinfected patients at relevant risk thresholds. For FIB-4 >3.25, ESLD risk ranged from 7.9% at 1 year to 26.0% at 5 years among non-blacks and from 2.4% at 1 year to 14.0% at 5 years among blacks.
Conclusions. Race and FIB-4 provided important predictive information on ESLD risk among HIV/HCV patients. Estimating risk of ESLD using these variables could help direct HCV treatment decisions among HIV/HCV-coinfected patients.
doi:10.1093/ofid/ofv109
PMCID: PMC4536329  PMID: 26284259
end-stage liver disease; hepatic decompensation; HIV; hepatitis C; HIV/HCV coinfection
24.  HIV Infection, Antiretroviral Therapy Initiation and Longitudinal Changes in Biomarkers of Organ Function§ 
Current HIV research  2014;12(1):50-59.
Background
HIV is associated with end-organ diseases of aging via unclear mechanisms. Longitudinally assessing how HIV infection and ART initiation affect biomarkers of end organ function/disease could clarify these mechanisms. We investigated longitudinal changes in clinical biomarkers following 1) HIV infection and 2) ART initiation with evidence of viral suppression.
Methods
Cohort: Veterans Aging Cohort Study Virtual Cohort (VACS VC). VACS VC is a longitudinal cohort of HIV infected (HIV+) and race-ethnicity, sex, age, and clinical site-matched uninfected Veterans enrolled in the same calendar year. Inclusion criteria: a negative and successively positive (>six months) HIV antibody test. We used Wilcoxon signed-rank tests to analyze 1) the effect of HIV infection on lipids, renal, hepatic and hematologic/cardiovascular biomarkers and 2)whether ART initiation with HIV-1 RNA<500 cpm reverts any changes back to pre-HIV levels
Results
422 Veterans had at least 1 biomarker measurement available prior to HIV infection and prior to ART initiation. 297 had at least 1 biomarker measurement available prior to HIV infection and after ART initiation with evidence of viral suppression. Mean age prior to HIV infection was 43 years. HIV infection was associated with reduction in total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, serum albumin, ALT, platelet count, hemoglobin and elevation of FIB-4 score and triglycerides. These changes occurred without significant changes in BMI. ART initiation (with HIV-1 RNA<500cpm) did not reverse alteration in triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, hemoglobin, or FIB-4 to pre-HIV infection levels.
Conclusions
HIV infection is associated with longitudinal changes in serum levels of several biomarkers of end-organ function/disease and mortality. Multiple biomarkers (triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, hemoglobin, and FIB-4) remain altered from levels prior to HIV infection levels even following inititiation of ART and evidence of viral suppression. These results give insights into underlying mechanisms of increased risk for aging-related chronic diseases in the context of HIV infection.
PMCID: PMC4495647  PMID: 25034208
Clinical biomarkers; chronic diseases of aging; HIV infection; lipids
25.  Incidence of Medically-Attended Norovirus-Associated Acute Gastroenteritis in Four Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center Populations in the United States, 2011-2012 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(5):e0126733.
An estimated 179 million acute gastroenteritis (AGE) illnesses occur annually in the United States. The role of noroviruses in hospital-related AGE has not been well-documented in the U. S. We estimated the population incidence of community- acquired outpatient and inpatient norovirus AGE encounters, as well as hospital-acquired inpatient norovirus AGE among inpatients at four Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Centers (VAMCs). Fifty (4%) of 1,160 stool specimens collected ≤7 days from symptom onset tested positive for norovirus. During a one year period, the estimated incidence of outpatient, community- and hospital-acquired inpatient norovirus AGE was 188 cases, 11 cases, and 54 cases/ 100,000 patients, respectively. This study demonstrates the incidence of outpatient and community- and hospital-acquired inpatient norovirus AGE among the VA population seeking care at these four VAMCs.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0126733
PMCID: PMC4440768  PMID: 25996826

Results 1-25 (81)