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Wheeler David A.; Gibert, Cynthia L.; Launer, Cynthia A.; Muurahainen, Norma; Elion, Richard A.; Abrams, Donald I.; Bartsch, Glenn E.; the Terry Beirn Community Programs for Clinical Research on AIDS
Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes & Human Retrovirology: May 1st, 1998

Severe weight loss in HIV is associated with decreased length of survival. It is unclear whether mild weight loss is associated with an increased risk of death or opportunistic complications of HIV. Participants in four interventional studies (n = 2382) conducted by a community-based clinical trials network were evaluated for percentage change in weight during their first 4 months in the study. Proportional hazards models were performed for the occurrence of opportunistic complications and death subsequent to the 4-month visit. The relative risk of death and opportunistic complications for those with 5% to 10% weight loss over 4 months was 2.22 (p <.001) and 1.89 (p < .001), respectively, and 1.26 (p < .01) and 1.19 (p < .01) among those who lost 0% to 5% of their body weight, respectively, when compared with those with no weight loss. Among those who lost 5% to 10% of their body weight, the relative risk of individual opportunistic complications increased significantly, including Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) (1.61; p < .01), cytomegalovirus (CMV) (2.33; p < .001), and Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) (1.81; p < .01). As little as 5%t weight loss over a 4-month period is associated with increased risk of death and opportunistic complications in HIV. A weight loss of 5% to 10% is also associated with an increased risk of individual opportunistic complications.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to David A. Wheeler, 3289 Woodburn Road, Suite 200, Annandale, Virginia 22003 U. S. A.

David A. Wheeler is currently affiliated with Infectious Diseases Physicians, Inc., Annandale, Virginia, U.S.A.

Manuscript received August 4, 1997; accepted December 23, 1997.

© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.