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Title: A comparison of recorded causes of death for HIV-infected individuals

William Jones, MPH, HIV/STD Prevention & Care Branch, NC Division of Public Health/ Epidemiology Section, 1902 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1902, 919-733-9603, bill.jones@ncmail.net

Background: As improved therapies become available to treat persons with HIV and survivorship improves, case management programs and clinicians need comprehensive information about causes of death in HIV-infected persons. The objective of his study was to determine the recorded causes of death for HIV-infected persons.

Methods: NC HIV cases reports were matched electronically with death certificates for the years 2001 and 2002. Apparent matches were then verified manually by reviewing case surveillance information. Recorded causes of death (primary and up to 20 contributing) were determined for each matched pair.

Results: 969 deaths of HIV-infected persons were identified in 2001 and 2002 for persons in the case registry. 736 had HIV listed as a cause or contributing cause of death. 173 persons had other causes or contributing causes of death listed. Of the 173 cases, the following were listed as the primary cause of death: 24.3% (n=42) cardiovascular disease, 14.5% (n=25) various malignant neoplasms, 10.4% (n=18) accidents, 6.9% (n=12) assault, 4.0% (n=7) renal failure, 4.0% (n=7) septicemia and 3.5% (n=6) other immunodeficiences. Alcohol or drug induced death and intentional self-harm was indicated in 5.8% of cases (n=10).

Conclusions: Almost 18% of HIV-infected persons who died did not have HIV listed as a cause of death or in any underlying cause of death. Important information can be ascertained from examining the recorded causes of death, leading to improved case management. Vital records programs can use similar information to determine how valid and complete cause of death information is recorded on death certificates.

Learning Objectives:

  • At the conclusion of the session, participants will be able to develop a plan to determine recorded causes of death for HIV-infected persons using surveillance and vital records data.

    Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Death

    Presenting author's disclosure statement:
    I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

    HIV/AIDS Epidemiology & Surveillance

    The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA