Risk factors associated with acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in HIV-infected and uninfected patients

Timothy B. Depp, Kathleen A. McGinnis, Kevin Kraemer, Kathleen M. Akgun, E. Jennifer Edelman, David A. Fiellin, Adeel A. Butt, Stephen Crystal, Adam J. Gordon, Matthew Freiberg, Cynthia L. Gibert, David Rimland, Kendall J. Bryant, Kristina Crothers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine the association between HIV infection and other risk factors for acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AECOPD). Design: Longitudinal, national Veterans Aging Cohort Study including 43 618 HIV-infected and 86 492 uninfected veterans. Methods: AECOPD was defined as an inpatient or outpatient COPD ICD-9 diagnosis accompanied by steroid and/or antibiotic prescription within 5 days. We calculated incidence rate ratios (IRR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for first AECOPD over 2 years and used Poisson regression models to adjust for risk factors. Results: Over 234 099 person-years of follow-up, 1428 HIV-infected and 2104 uninfected patients had at least one AECOPD. HIV-infected patients had an increased rate of AECOPD compared with uninfected (18.8 vs. 13.3 per 1000 person-years, P<0.001). In adjusted models, AECOPD risk was greater in HIV-infected individuals overall (IRR 1.54; 95% CI 1.44-1.65), particularly in those with more severe immune suppression when stratified by CD4 cell count (cells/ml) compared with uninfected (HIV-infected CD4+<200: IRR 2.30, 95% CI 2.10-2.53, HIV-infected CD4+ ≥ 200-349: IRR 1.32, 95% CI 1.15-1.51, HIV-infected CD4+≥350: IRR 0.99, 95% CI 0.88-1.10). HIV infection also modified the association between current smoking and alcohol-related diagnoses with risk for AECOPD such that interaction terms for HIV and current smoking or HIV and alcohol-related diagnoses were each significantly associated with AECOPD. Conclusion: HIV infection, especially with lower CD4+ cell count, is an independent risk factor for AECOPD. Enhanced susceptibility to harm from current smoking or unhealthy alcohol use in HIV-infected patients may also contribute to the greater rate of AECOPD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)455-463
Number of pages9
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 28 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


  • Acute exacerbation
  • COPD
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Tobacco use
  • Unhealthy alcohol use


Dive into the research topics of 'Risk factors associated with acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in HIV-infected and uninfected patients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this