Weight loss prior to clinical AIDS as a predictor of survival

J. P. Palenicek, N. M.H. Graham, Y. D. He, D. A. Hoover, J. S. Oishi, L. Kingsley, A. J. Saah

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124 Scopus citations


In this analysis the aim was to determine the independent effect of moderate to severe weight loss prior to an AIDS diagnosis on survival after AIDS. The study was conducted as part of the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS), a longitudinal study of HIV-1-seropositive gay or bisexual men. Measured weight and self-reported weight loss data were collected semiannually from 1984 through 1993. The study population included 962 HIV-1-seropositive men who developed clinical AIDS during the follow-up period. Median survival after AIDS was significantly lower for men with measured weight loss of ≥ 4.5 kg 3-9 months and 3-15 months prior to AIDS, or who had lost > 10% of their baseline body weight compared with men with less weight loss or weight gain. Men with self-reported unintentional weight loss of ≥ 4.5 kg 3-9 months prior to AIDS had significantly poorer survival (median = 1.05 years vs. 1.48 years; p = 0.0001) compared with men not reporting weight loss. After adjusting for potential confounding factors, men in the high measured weight loss group 3-9 months prior to AIDS still had significantly poorer survival [relative hazard (RH) = 1.36; p = 0.02]. Similar trends were seen for the two longer intervals prior to AIDS (RH = 1.38, p = 0.01; and RH = 1.50, p = 0.02, respectively). Men who self-reported weight loss ≥ 4.5 kg 3-9 months prior to AIDS also had significantly poorer survival after AIDS (RH = 1.43; p = 0.002) in multivariate analysis. Analyses were also conducted excluding men who had AIDS diagnoses known to be associated with wasting and poor prognosis, but the associations reported above did not materially differ. Moderate to severe weight loss prior to AIDS is an independent predictor of survival after AIDS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)366-373
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes and Human Retrovirology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Virology


  • AIDS
  • HIV-1
  • nutrition
  • survival
  • wasting syndrome

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