A cross‑sectional, facility based study of comorbid non‑communicable diseases among adults living with HIV infection in Zimbabwe

Magodoro, Itai M. ; Esterhuizen, Tonya M. ; Chivese, Tawanda (2016)

CITATION: Magodoro, I. M., Esterhuizen, T. M. & Chivese, T. 2016. A cross‑sectional, facility based study of comorbid non‑communicable diseases among adults living with HIV infection in Zimbabwe. BMC Research Notes, 9:379, doi: 10.1186/s13104-016-2187-z.

The original publication is available at http://bmcresnotes.biomedcentral.com

Publication of this article was funded by the Stellenbosch University Open Access Fund.


Background: Increased antiretroviral therapy uptake in sub-Saharan Africa has resulted in improved survival of the infected. Opportunistic infections are declining as leading causes of morbidity and mortality. Though comprehensive data are lacking, concern has been raised about the rapid emergence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the African HIV care setting. We therefore set out to characterise the NCD/HIV burden among adults living and ageing with HIV infection in Zimbabwe. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study among patients receiving care in a public sector facility. We reviewed patient records and determined the prevalence of comorbid and multi-morbid NCDs. Associations with patient characteristics were evaluated using univariate and multi-variate logistic regression modelling. Significance testing was done using 2-sided p values and 95 % confidence intervals calculated. Results: We recruited 1033 participants. 31 % were men. Significant gender differences included: older median age, more advanced disease at baseline, and greater use of stavudine and protease inhibitor containing regimens in men compared to women. The prevalence of comorbidity and multi-morbidity were, respectively, 15.3 % (95 % CI 13.3–17.7 %) and 4.5 % (95 % CI 3.4–6.0 %). Women had higher rates than men of both co-morbidity and multi-morbidity: 21.8 vs. 14.9 %; p = 0.010 and 5.3 vs. 2.9 %; p = 0.025 respectively. The commonly observed individual NCDs were hypertension [10.2 %; (95 % CI 8.4–12.2 %)], asthma [4.3 % (95 % CI 3.1–5.8 %)], type 2 diabetes mellitus [2.1 % (95 % CI 1.3–3.2 %)], cancer [1.8 % (95 % CI 1.1–2.8 %)], and congestive cardiac failure [1.5 % (95 % CI 0.9–2.5 %)]. After adjusting for confounding, only age categories 45–≤55 years (AOR 2.25; 95 % CI 1.37–3.69) and >55 years (AOR 5.42; 95 % CI 3.17–9.26), and female gender (AOR 2.12; 95 % CI 1.45–3.11) remained significantly and strongly associated with comorbidity risk. Conclusions: We found a substantial burden of comorbid non-communicable diseases among HIV infected patients in a high HIV and low-income setting. Integrating non-communicable diseases care, including active screening, with HIV care is recommended.

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