PloS one 2017 11 1612(11) e0188235 doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0188235
Mortality from TB continues to be a global public health challenge. TB ranks alongside Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) as the leading infectious causes of death globally. HIV is a major driver of TB related morbidity and mortality while TB is the leading cause of mortality among people living with HIV/AIDS. We sought to determine excess mortality associated with HIV and the effect of antiretroviral therapy on reducing mortality among tuberculosis patients in Kenya.
We conducted a retrospective analysis of Kenya national tuberculosis program data of patients enrolled from 2013 through 2014. We used direct standardization to obtain standardized mortality ratios for tuberculosis patients compared with the general population. We calculated the population attributable fraction of tuberculosis deaths due to HIV based on the standardized mortality ratio for deaths among TB patients with HIV compared to TB patients without HIV. We used Cox proportional hazards regression for assessing risk factors for mortality.
Of 162,014 patients included in the analysis, 6% died. Mortality was 10.6 (95% CI: 10.4-10.8) times higher among TB patients than the general population; 42% of deaths were attributable to HIV infection. Patients with HIV who were not receiving ART had an over four-fold risk of death compared to patients without HIV (aHR = 4.2, 95% CI 3.9-4.6). In contrast, patients with HIV who were receiving ART had only 2.6 times the risk of death (aHR = 2.6, 95% CI 2.5-2.7).
HIV was a significant contributor to TB-associated deaths in Kenya. Mortality among HIV-infected individuals was higher among those not on ART than those on ART. Early initiation of ART among HIV infected people (a "test and treat" approach) should further reduce TB-associated deaths.