CD4+ T Cell Count Decreases by Ethnicity among Untreated Patients with HIV Infection in South Africa and Switzerland

May, Margaret; Wood, Robin; Myer, Landon; Taffé, Patrick; Rauch, Andri; Battegay, Manuel; Egger, Matthias
December 2009
Journal of Infectious Diseases;12/1/2009, Vol. 200 Issue 11, p1729
Academic Journal
Background. Estimates of the decrease in CD4+ cell counts in untreated patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection are important for patient care and public health. We analyzed CD4+ cell count decreases in the Cape Town AIDS Cohort and the Swiss HIV Cohort Study. Methods. We used mixed-effects models and joint models that allowed for the correlation between CD4+ cell count decreases and survival and stratified analyses by the initial cell count (50-199, 200-349, 350-499, and 500- 750 cells/μL). Results are presented as the mean decrease in CD4+ cell count with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) during the first year after the initial CD4+ cell count. Results. A total of 784 South African (629 nonwhite) and 2030 Swiss (218 nonwhite) patients with HIV infection contributed 13,388 CD4+ cell counts. Decreases in CD4+ cell count were steeper in white patients, patients with higher initial CD4+ cell counts, and older patients. Decreases ranged from a mean of 38 cells/μL (95% CI, 24-54 cells/μL) in nonwhite patients from the Swiss HIV Cohort Study 15-39 years of age with an initial CD4+ cell count of 200-349 cells/μL to a mean of 210 cells/μL (95% CI, 143-268 cells/μL) in white patients in the Cape Town AIDS Cohort ⩾40 years of age with an initial CD4+ cell count of 500-750 cells/μL. Conclusions. Among both patients from Switzerland and patients from South Africa, CD4+ cell count decreases were greater in white patients with HIV infection than they were in nonwhite patients with HIV infection.


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