International AIDS Society

Lymphoma Is Strongest Predictor of Death in Large Italian AIDS Cohort

Author: Mark Mascolini

29 September 2009

People with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) when diagnosed with AIDS had the highest risk of dying in a longitudinal study of over 9000 people in Italy. The proportion of deaths from non-AIDS causes rose to more than 50% during the study period.

Researchers analyzed causes of death in 9662 Italian residents diagnosed with AIDS from 1999 to 2005 by linking their medical records with the Italian mortality database. They calculated risks associated with causes of death in the first 12 months after diagnosis or later.

One year after diagnosis, 80.6% had survived, compared with 75.2% after 2 years and 66.4% after 3 years. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma at AIDS diagnosis was the strongest predictor of death, as primary brain lymphoma raised the risk of death 9.2 times.

Other predictors of death were older age, injection drug use, and a CD4 count below 200 cells/µL at AIDS diagnosis.

The proportion of deaths from non-AIDS causes rose from 38.4% in 1996 to 56.9% in 2006. At those same points, the proportion of deaths from non-AIDS cancers rose from 3.7% to 8.7%.

The investigators conclude that their study “documented the prolonged survival of Italian people with AIDS, the strong impact of non-Hodgkin lymphoma on mortality, and the increasing frequency of non-AIDS-defining illnesses at death.”

Source: Diego Serraino, Antonella Zucchetto, Barbara Suligoi, Silvia Bruzzone, Laura Camoni, Stefano Boros, Angela De Paoli, Luigino Dal Maso, Silvia Franceschi, Giovanni Rezza. Survival after AIDS diagnosis in Italy, 1999-2006: a population-based study. JAIDS. 2009;52:99-105.

For the study abstract

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