Survival and determinants of mortality in adult HIV/Aids patients initiating antiretroviral therapy in Somali Region, Eastern Ethiopia
Introduction: Studies have shown high initial mortality in Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) programs from resource-limited settings. However, there is dearth of evidence on treatment outcomes and associated determinant factors in public hospitals. Therefore, the objective of this study is to assess survival and identify predictors of death in adult HIV-infected patients initiating ART at a public hospital in Eastern Ethiopia.
Methods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted by reviewing baseline and follow-up records of patients who started ART between December 1, 2007 and December 31, 2011 at Kharamara hospital. Time to death was the main outcome measure. Kaplan-Meier models were used to estimate mortality and Cox proportional hazards models to identify predictors of mortality.
Results: A total of 784 patients (58.4% females) were followed for a median of 60 months. There were 87 (11.1%) deaths yielding an overall mortality rate of 5.15/100 PYO (95% CI: 4.73-6.37). The estimated mortality was 8.4%, 9.8%, 11.3%, 12.7% and 14.1% at 6, 12, 24, 36 and 48 months respectively. The independent predictors of death were single marital status (AHR: 2.31; 95%CI: 1.18-4.50), a bedridden functional status (AHR: 5.91; 95%CI: 2.87-12.16), advanced WHO stage (AHR: 7.36; 95%CI: 3.17-17.12), BMI < 18.5 Kg/m2 (AHR: 2.20; 95%CI: 1.18-4.09), CD4 count < 50 cells/BL (AHR: 2.70; 95%CI: 1.26-5.80), severe anemia (AHR: 4.57; 95%CI: 2.30-9.10), and TB co-infection (AHR: 2.30; 95%CI: 1.28-4.11).
Conclusion: Improved survival was observed in patients taking ART in Somali region of Ethiopia. The risk for death was higher in patients with advanced WHO stage, low CD4 count, low Hgb, low BMI, and concomitant TB infection. Intensive case management is recommended for patients with the prognostic factors. Optimal immunologic and weight recoveries in the first 6 months suggest increased effort to retain patients in care at this period.
Key words: HIV, Aids, antiretroviral therapy, Ethiopia