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Combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) has improved the survival of patients with HIV/AIDS but its impact remains uncertain on the changing prevalence and incidence of neurologic disorders with ensuing effects on mortality.
The prevalence and incidence of neurologic disorders were examined in patients receiving active care in a regional HIV care program from 1998 to 2008. The mortality hazard ratio (HR) was calculated by Cox proportional hazard models with adjustment for demographic and clinical variables.
Of 1,651 HIV-infected patients assessed, 404 (24.5%) were identified as having one or more neurologic disorders, while 41% of AIDS-affected persons exhibited neurologic disease. Symptomatic distal sensory polyneuropathy (DSP, 10.0%) and HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND, 6.2%) represented the most prevalent disorders among 53 recognized neurologic disorders. Patients with at least one neurologic disorder exhibited higher mortality rates (17.6% vs 8.0%, p < 0.0001), particularly AIDS-related deaths (9.7% vs 3.2%, p < 0.0001), compared with those without neurologic disorders. The highest mortality HR was associated with opportunistic infections of CNS (HR 5.3, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.5-11.2), followed by HAND (HR 3.1, 95% CI 1.8-5.3) and the presence of any neurologic disorder (HR 2.0, 95% CI 1.2-3.2). The risk of AIDS-related death with a neurologic disorder was increased by 13.3% per 100 cells/mm(3) decrement in blood CD4+ T-cell levels or by 39% per 10-fold increment in plasma viral load.
The burden and type of HIV-related neurologic disease have evolved over the past decade and despite the availability of cART, neurologic disorders occur frequently and predict an increased risk of death.
From the Division of Neurology (P.V., C.P.) and Statistical Consulting Centre, Department of Dentistry (G.H., J.G.), University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada; Department of Pharmacology (P.V.), Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand; Sou
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