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Noncommunicable disease burden among HIV patients in care: a national retrospective longitudinal analysis of HIV-treatment outcomes in Kenya, 2003-2013
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  • Pubmed ID:
    30943975
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC6448214
  • Description:
    Background

    Over the last decade, the Kenyan HIV treatment program has grown exponentially, with improved survival among people living with HIV (PLHIV). In the same period, noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) have become a leading contributor to disease burden. We sought to characterize the burden of four major NCDs (cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes mellitus) among adult PLHIV in Kenya.

    Methods

    We conducted a nationally representative retrospective medical chart review of HIV-infected adults aged ≥15 years enrolled in HIV care in Kenya from October 1, 2003 through September 30, 2013. We estimated proportions of four NCD categories among PLHIV at enrollment into HIV care, and during subsequent HIV care visits. We compared proportions and assessed distributions of co-morbidities using the Chi-Square test. We calculated NCD incidence rates and their confidence intervals in assessing cofactors for developing NCDs.

    Results

    We analyzed 3170 records of HIV-infected patients; 2115 (66.3%) were from women. Slightly over half (51.1%) of patient records were from PLHIVs aged above 35 years. Close to two-thirds (63.9%) of PLHIVs were on ART. Proportion of any documented NCD among PLHIV was 11.5% (95% confidence interval [CI] 9.3, 14.1), with elevated blood pressure as the most common NCD 343 (87.5%) among PLHIV with a diagnosed NCD. Despite this observation, only 17 (4.9%) patients had a corresponding documented diagnosis of hypertension in their medical record. Overall NCD incidence rates for men and women were (42.3 per 1000 person years [95% CI 35.8, 50.1] and 31.6 [95% CI 27.7, 36.1], respectively. Compared to women, the incidence rate ratio for men developing an NCD was 1.3 [95% CI 1.1, 1.7], p = 0.0082). No differences in NCD incidence rates were seen by marital or employment status. At one year of follow up 43.8% of PLHIV not on ART had been diagnosed with an NCD compared to 3.7% of patients on ART; at five years the proportions with a diagnosed NCD were 88.8 and 39.2% (p < 0.001), respectively. 

    Conclusions

    PLHIV in Kenya have a high prevalence of NCD diagnoses. In the absence of systematic, effective screening, NCD burden is likely underestimated in this population. Systematic screening and treatment for NCDs using standard guidelines should be integrated into HIV care and treatment programs in sub-Saharan Africa.

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