[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: HIV infection reduces the likelihood that individuals with pulmonary tuberculosis are smear positive and that they have cavitatory disease. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) may shift the pattern of disease to be more similar to that of HIV negative patients. This would aid diagnosis- which often depends on sputum smears - but would also increase infectiousness. We assessed the effect of HIV and ART on smear positivity and cavitatory disease in laboratory-confirmed pulmonary TB patients.
Three sputum samples were collected per pulmonary TB suspect and were examined using microscopy and culture. Chest radiographs were available for a subset of patients as part of another study. The effect of HIV and ART status on sputum smear positivity and lung cavitation were evaluated using multivariable logistic regression.
Of 1024 laboratory-confirmed pulmonary TB patients who were identified between January 2005 and December 2011, 766 had HIV and ART status available. Positive sputum smears were significantly more common among HIV negative individuals than HIV positive individuals (adjusted OR = 2.91, 95% CI 1.53 - 5.55). Compared to those HIV positive but not on ART , patients on ART were more likely to be smear positive (adjusted OR = 2.33, 95% CI 1.01 - 5.39) if they had been on ART <= 6 months, but only slightly more likely to be smear positive (adjusted OR = 1.43, 95% CI 0.68 - 2.99) if they were on ART > 6 months. HIV negative patients were more likely than HIV positive patients to have cavitatory disease (adjusted OR = 1.97, 95% CI 1.20 - 3.23). Patients on ART > 6 months had a slight increase in cavitatory disease compared to HIV positive patients not on ART (adjusted OR = 1.68, CI 0.78 - 3.63).
HIV infection is associated with less smear positivity and cavitation in pulmonary TB patients. Among HIV positive patients, the use of ART shifts the presentation of disease towards that seen in HIV-negative individuals, which facilitates diagnosis but which also could increase infectiousness.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To assess the magnitude of loss to follow-up in smear- or culture-positive tuberculosis patients before treatment initiation and outcomes among patients who were traced.
Ovid Medline and Global Health databases were searched for studies published between 1994 and January 2013 that described pre-treatment loss to follow-up in patients with smear- or culture-positive tuberculosis in routine national tuberculosis programmes (NTPs) in low- and lower-middle-income countries and in countries with a high burden of tuberculosis. Data on the proportion of patients who did not initiate treatment after their tuberculosis diagnosis were extracted from studies meeting inclusion criteria. Where available, data on causes and outcomes, including initiation of tuberculosis treatment at another facility, were investigated. Heterogeneity and publication bias were assessed and random-effects meta-analyses by subgroup (region) were performed.
Twenty-three eligible studies were identified, with a total of 34 706 smear- or culture-positive tuberculosis patients from 14 countries (8 in Africa, 5 in Asia and 1 in the western Pacific). Most studies were retrospective and linked laboratory and treatment registers to identify pre-treatment loss to follow-up. Pre-treatment loss to follow-up varied from 4 to 38% and was common in studies from Africa (random-effects weighted proportion, WP: 18%; 95% confidence interval, CI: 13-22) and Asia (WP: 13%; 95% CI: 10-15).
Pre-treatment loss to follow-up, common in most settings, can hinder tuberculosis control efforts. By not counting individuals who are lost to follow-up before treatment when reporting standard programme indicators, NTPs underestimate case detection rates and mortality and overestimate cure rates.
Bulletin of the World Health Organisation 02/2014; 92(2):126-138. · 5.25 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Screening for tuberculosis (TB) disease aims to improve early TB case detection. The ultimate goal is to improve outcomes for people with TB and to reduce Mycobacterium tuberculosis transmission in the community through improved case detection, reduction in diagnostic delays and early treatment. Before screening programmes are recommended, evidence is needed of individual and/or community-level benefits.
We conducted a systematic review of the literature to assess the evidence that screening for TB disease 1) initially increases the number of TB cases initiated on anti-tuberculosis treatment, 2) identifies cases earlier in the course of disease, 3) reduces mortality and morbidity, and 4) impacts on TB epidemiology.
A total of 28 798 publications were identified by the search strategy: 27 087 were excluded on initial screening and 1749 on full text review, leaving 62 publications that addressed at least one of the study questions. Screening increases the number of cases found in the short term. In many settings, more than half of the prevalent TB cases in the community remain undiagnosed. Screening tends to find cases earlier and with less severe disease, but this may be attributed to case-finding studies using more sensitive diagnostic methods than routine programmes. Treatment outcomes among people identified through screening are similar to outcomes among those identified through passive case finding. Current studies provide insufficient evidence to show that active screening for TB disease impacts on TB epidemiology.
Individual and community-level benefits from active screening for TB disease remain uncertain. So far, the benefits of earlier diagnosis on patient outcomes and transmission have not been established.
The international journal of tuberculosis and lung disease: the official journal of the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease 04/2013; 17(4):432-46. · 2.61 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The role of HIV-1 RNA in the emergence of resistance to antiretroviral therapies (ARTs) is well documented while less is known about the role of historical viruses stored in the proviral DNA. The primary focus of this work was to characterize the genetic diversity and evolution of HIV drug resistant variants in an individual's provirus during antiretroviral therapy using next generation sequencing. METHODS: Blood samples were collected prior to antiretroviral therapy exposure and during the course of treatment from five patients in whom drug resistance mutations had previously been identified using consensus sequencing. The spectrum of viral variants present in the provirus at each sampling time-point were characterized using 454 pyrosequencing from multiple combined PCR products. The prevalence of viral variants containing drug resistant mutations (DRMs) was characterized at each time-point. RESULTS: Low abundance drug resistant viruses were identified in 14 of 15 sampling time-points from the five patients. In all individuals DRMs against current therapy were identified at one or more of the sampling time-points. In two of the five individuals studied these DRMs were present prior to treatment exposure and were present at high prevalence within the amplified and sequenced viral population. DRMs to drugs other than those being currently used were identified in four of the five individuals. CONCLUSION: The presence of DRMs in the provirus, regardless of their observed prevalence did not appear to have an effect on clinical outcomes in the short term suggesting that the drug resistant viral variants present in the proviral DNA do not appear to play a role in the short term in facilitating the emergence of drug resistance.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Remarkably little is known about associations between age at menarche and sexually transmitted infections, although girls with earlier menarche tend to have earlier sexual debut and school drop-out, so an association might be expected. In a population-based survey of >3000 women aged 15-30 in northern Malawi we show that those with earlier menarche had earlier sexual debut, earlier marriage and were more often Herpes simplex type-2 (HSV-2) positive. Compared to those with menarche aged <14, the age-adjusted odds ratios for HSV-2 were 0.89 (95%CI 0.71-1.1), 0.71 (0.57-0.89) and 0.69 (0.54-0.89) for menarche aged 14, 15 and 16+ respectively. This association persisted after adjusting for socio-economic factors, including schooling, and for sexual behaviour. No such association was seen with HIV infection, which is much less common and less uniformly distributed than HSV-2 in this population. The extra vulnerability of girls with earlier menarche needs to be recognised. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.01604.001.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is increasing interest in social structural interventions for tuberculosis. The association between poverty and tuberculosis is well established in many settings, but less clear in rural Africa. In Karonga District, Malawi, we found an association between higher socioeconomic status and tuberculosis from 1986-1996, independent of HIV status and other factors.
To investigate the relationship in the same area in 1997-2010.
All adults in the district with new laboratory-confirmed tuberculosis were included. They were compared with community controls, selected concurrently and frequency-matched for age, sex and area.
1707 cases and 2678 controls were interviewed (response rates >95%). The odds of TB were increased in those working in the cash compared to subsistence economy (p<0.001), and with better housing (p-trend=0.006), but decreased with increased asset ownership (p-trend=0.003). The associations with occupation and housing were partly mediated by HIV status, but remained significant.
Different socioeconomic measures capture different pathways of the association between socioeconomic status and tuberculosis. Subsistence farmers may be relatively unexposed whereas those in the cash economy travel more, and may be more likely to come forward for diagnosis. In this setting "better houses" may be less well ventilated and residents may spend more time indoors.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(10):e77740. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The rise in tuberculosis (TB) incidence following generalized HIV epidemics can overwhelm TB control programmes in resource-limited settings, sometimes accompanied by rising rates of drug resistance. This has led to claims that DOTS-based TB control has failed in such settings. However, few studies have described the effect of a sustained and well-supported DOTS programme on TB incidence and drug resistance over a long period. We present long-term trends in incidence and drug resistance in rural Malawi.
Karonga District in northern Malawi has an adult HIV prevalence of ∼10%. A research group, the Karonga Prevention Study, collaborates with the National Tuberculosis Programme to support core TB control activities. Bacteriological, demographic and clinical (including HIV status) information from all patients starting TB treatment in the District have been recorded since 1988. During that period isolates from each culture-positive TB patient were exported for drug sensitivity testing. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) has been widely available since 2005.
Incidence of new smear-positive adult TB peaked at 124/100,000/year in the mid-90s, but has since fallen to 87/100,000/year. Drug sensitivity information was available for 95% (3132/3307) of all culture-positive cases. Initial resistance to isoniazid was around 6% with no evidence of an increase. Fewer than 1% of episodes involved a multi-drug resistant strain.
In this setting with a generalised HIV epidemic and medium TB burden, a well-supported DOTS programme enhanced by routine culture and drug sensitivity testing may well have reduced TB incidence and maintained drug resistance at low levels.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(3):e58192. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Summary There is now widespread agreement on the importance of men's role in reproductive decision-making. Several studies have argued that fertility preferences and their translation into behaviour differ between polygamous and monogamous unions. Studies investigating the dominance of men's preferences over women's preferences, in cases of couple disagreement, found mixed evidence of the effect of polygamy. However, an often cited limitation of these studies has been the inability to link husband's intention with each of his wives in a polygamous union. By adding fertility-intention questions to an on-going Demographic Surveillance Site in Karonga District in northern Malawi the fertility preferences and contraceptive use of husbands and wives were investigated. An analysis of the relationship between the level of agreement and disagreement between husbands' and wives' fertility preferences was then performed to gain insight into the reproductive decision-making process of polygamous couples.
Journal of Biosocial Science 11/2012; · 0.98 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Decentralised health services form a key part of chronic care strategies in resource-limited settings by reducing the distance between patient and clinic and thereby the time and costs involved in travelling. However, few tools exist to evaluate the impact of decentralisation on patient travel time or what proportion of patients attend their nearest clinic. Here we develop methods to monitor changes in travel time, using data from the antiretroviral therapy (ART) roll-out in a rural district in North Malawi. METHODS: Clinic position was combined with GPS information on the home village of patients accessing ART services in Karonga District (North Malawi) between July 2005 and July 2009. Potential travel time was estimated as the travel time for an individual attending their nearest clinic, and estimated actual travel time as the time to the clinic attended. This allowed us to calculate changes in potential and actual travel time as new clinics opened and track the proportion and origin of patients not accessing their nearest clinic. RESULTS: The model showed how the opening of further ART clinics in Karonga District reduced median potential travel time from 83 to 43 minutes, and median actual travel time fell from 83 to 47 minutes. The proportion of patients not attending their nearest clinic increased from 6% when two clinics were open, to 12% with four open. DISCUSSION: Integrating GPS information with patient data shows the impact of decentralisation on travel time and clinic choice to inform policy and research questions. In our case study, travel time decreased, accompanied by an increased uptake of services. However, the model also identified an increasing proportion of ART patients did not attend their nearest clinic.
International Journal of Health Geographics 11/2012; 11(1):49. · 2.62 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: All-cause mortality, based on national tuberculosis programme (NTP) register deaths, may under- or overestimate tuberculosis (TB) specific mortality in the population.
To assess the factors influencing this measurement in a single large population with high TB prevalence and mortality.
Routinely collected data on TB cases and treatment outcomes were linked to population data from a cohort of South African miners from 1995 to 2008. Vital status and cause of death were determined from multiple sources, including the TB programme, death register and autopsy.
The TB mortality rate, based on 430 deaths on the TB register, was 192/100 000 person-years (py). Many of these deaths (57%) were not caused by TB, and 483 TB deaths were identified outside the programme. Overall, there were 674 TB-specific deaths; the TB-specific mortality rate was 302/100 000 py. These deaths included 191 (28%) on the TB register, 23 (3%) among defaulters/transfers, 153 (23%) after anti-tuberculosis treatment and 307 (46%) in men who had never been on the programme.
This study highlights methodological issues in estimating TB mortality. In this population, a method using the product of TB incidence and case fatality consistently underestimated TB mortality. Accurate estimates of TB-specific mortality are crucial for the proper evaluation of TB control programmes.
The international journal of tuberculosis and lung disease: the official journal of the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease 09/2012; 16(11):1449-54. · 2.61 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background. Current symptom screening algorithms for intensified tuberculosis case finding or prior to isoniazid preventive therapy (IPT) in patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) were derived from antiretroviral-naive cohorts. There is a need to validate screening algorithms in patients on antiretroviral therapy (ART).Methods. We performed cross-sectional evaluation of the diagnostic accuracy of symptom screening, including the World Health Organization (WHO) algorithm, to rule out tuberculosis in HIV-infected individuals pre-ART and on ART undergoing screening prior to IPT.Results. A total of 1429 participants, 54% on ART, had symptom screening and a sputum culture result available. Culture-positive tuberculosis was diagnosed in 126 patients (8.8%, 95% confidence interval [CI], 7.4%-10.4%). The WHO symptom screen in the on-ART compared with the pre-ART group had a lower sensitivity (23.8% vs 47.6%), but higher specificity (94.4% vs 79.8%). The effect of ART was independent of CD4(+) count in multivariable analyses. The posttest probability of tuberculosis following a negative WHO screen was 8.9% (95% CI, 7.4%-10.8%) and 4.4% (95% CI, 3.7%-5.2%) for the pre-ART and on-ART groups, respectively. Addition of body mass index to the WHO screen significantly improved discriminatory ability in both ART groups, which was further improved by adding CD4 count and ART duration.Conclusions. The WHO symptom screen has poor sensitivity, especially among patients on ART, in a clinic where regular tuberculosis screening is practiced. Consequently, a significant proportion of individuals with tuberculosis would inadvertently be placed on isoniazid monotherapy despite high negative predictive values. Until more sensitive methods of ruling out tuberculosis are established, it would be prudent to do a sputum culture prior to IPT when is feasible.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE:: To estimate the impact of antiretroviral therapy (ART) on the incidence of recurrent tuberculosis in an African population. DESIGN:: A long-term population cohort in Karonga District, northern Malawi. METHODS:: Patients who had completed treatment for laboratory-confirmed TB diagnosed since 1996 were visited annually to record vital status, ART use, and screen for TB. Survival analysis estimated the effect of HIV/ART status at completion of treatment on mortality and recurrence. Analyses were stratified by time since treatment completion to estimate the effects on relapse (predominates during first year) and reinfection disease (predominates later). RESULTS:: Among 1133 index TB cases contributing 4353 person-years of follow-up, there were 307 deaths and 103 laboratory-confirmed recurrences (recurrence rate 4.6/100py). Half the recurrences occurred in the first year since completing treatment. HIV infection increased the recurrence rate (rate ratio [RR] adjusted for age, sex, time period and TB type 2.69, 95%CI 1.69-4.26), but with less effect in the first year (adjusted RR 1.71, 0.87-3.35) than subsequently (adjusted RR 4.2, 2.16-8.15). Recurrence rates on ART were intermediate between those of HIV-negative individuals and HIV-positive individuals without ART. Compared to HIV-positive individuals without ART the adjusted RR was 0.74 (0.27-2.06) in the first year, and 0.43 (0.11-1.73) later. CONCLUSION:: The increased incidence of TB recurrence observed in HIV positive patients appeared to be reduced by ART. The effects are mostly on later (likely reinfection) disease so the impact of ART on reducing recurrence will be highest in high TB incidence settings.
AIDS (London, England) 08/2012; · 4.91 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Developing countries are undergoing demographic transition with a shift from high mortality caused by communicable diseases (CD) to lower mortality rates caused by non-communicable diseases (NCD). HIV/AIDS has disrupted this trend in sub-Saharan Africa. However, in recent years, HIV-associated mortality has been reduced with the introduction of widely available antiretroviral therapy (ART). Side effects of ART may lead to increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, raising the prospects of an accelerated transition towards NCD as the primary cause of death. We report population-based data to investigate changes in cause of death owing to NCD during the first 4 years after introduction of HIV treatment.
We analysed data from a demographic surveillance system in Karonga district, Malawi, from September 2004 to August 2009. ART was introduced in mid-2005. Clinician review of verbal autopsies conducted 2-6 weeks after a death was used to establish a single principal cause of death.
Over the entire period, there were 905 deaths, AIDS death rate fell from 505 to 160/100,000 person-years, and there was no evidence of an increase in NCD rates. The proportion of total deaths attributable to AIDS fell from 42% to 17% and from NCD increased from 37% to 49%.
Our findings show that 4 years after the introduction of ART into HIV care in Karonga district, all-cause mortality has fallen dramatically, with no evidence of an increase in deaths owing to NCD.
Tropical Medicine & International Health 08/2012; 17(8):e74-83. · 2.94 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE:: To quantify refusal bias due to prior HIV-testing, and its effect on HIV prevalence estimates, in general-population surveys. DESIGN:: Four annual, cross-sectional, house-to-house HIV sero-surveys conducted during 2006-2010 within a demographic surveillance population of 33,000 in northern Malawi. METHODS:: The effect of prior knowledge of HIV status on test acceptance in subsequent surveys was analysed. HIV prevalence was then estimated using ten adjustment methods, including age-standardisation; multiple imputation of missing data; a conditional probability equations approach incorporating refusal bias; using longitudinal data on previous and subsequent HIV results; including self-reported HIV status; and including linked antiretroviral therapy clinic data. RESULTS:: HIV test acceptance was 55-65% in each sero-survey. By 2009/10 79% of men and 85% of women had tested at least once. Known HIV-positive individuals were more likely to be absent, and refuse interviewing and testing. Using longitudinal data, and adjusting for refusal bias, the best estimate of HIV prevalence was 7% in men and 9% in women in 2008/9. Estimates using multiple imputation were 4.8% and 6.4% respectively. Using the conditional probability approach gave good estimates using the refusal risk ratio of HIV-positive to HIV-negative individuals observed in this study, but not when using the only previously published estimate of this ratio, even though this was also from Malawi. CONCLUSION:: As the proportion of the population who know their HIV-status increases, survey-based prevalence estimates become increasingly biased. Since an adjustment method for cross-sectional data remains elusive, sources of data with high coverage, such as ANC surveillance, remain important.
AIDS (London, England) 07/2012; · 4.91 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Karonga Health and Demographic Surveillance System (Karonga HDSS) in northern Malawi currently has a population of more than 35 000 individuals under continuous demographic surveillance since completion of a baseline census (2002-2004). The surveillance system collects data on vital events and migration for individuals and for households. It also provides data on cause-specific mortality obtained by verbal autopsy for all age groups, and estimates rates of disease for specific presentations via linkage to clinical facility data. The Karonga HDSS provides a structure for surveys of socio-economic status, HIV sero-prevalence and incidence, sexual behaviour, fertility intentions and a sampling frame for other studies, as well as evaluating the impact of interventions, such as antiretroviral therapy and vaccination programmes. Uniquely, it relies on a network of village informants to report vital events and household moves, and furthermore is linked to an archive of biological samples and data from population surveys and other studies dating back three decades.
International Journal of Epidemiology 06/2012; 41(3):676-85. · 6.98 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent UNAIDS guidelines recommend measuring concurrency 6 months before the interview date, based on overlapping partnership dates. This has theoretical advantages, but little is known about how well it can be measured in practice.
The assumptions underlying the UNAIDS measure were tested using data from a sexual behaviour survey conducted in rural northern Malawi. All resident adults aged 15-59 were eligible. Questions included self-reported concurrency and dates for all marital and nonmarital partnerships in the past 12 months.
A total of 6796 women and 5253 men were interviewed, 83 and 72% of those eligible, respectively. Since few women reported multiple partners, detailed analysis was restricted to men. Overall 19.2% [95% confidence interval (CI) 18.1-20.2] of men self-reported concurrent relationships in the past year (almost all of those with more than one partner). Using overlapping dates the estimate was 16.7% (15.7-17.7). Excluding partnerships which tied on dates (making overlap uncertain) or restricting the analysis to the three most recent partners gave similar results. The UNAIDS 6-month measure was 12.0% (11.1-12.9), and current concurrency was 11.5% (10.6-12.4). The difference between dates-based and self-reported 12-month measures was much larger for unmarried men: 11.1% (9.7-12.4) self-reported; 7.1% (6.9-8.2) on dates. Polygyny (15% of married men) and the longer duration of relationships stabilized the estimates for married men. Nonmarital partnerships were under-reported, particularly those starting longer ago.
The difficulties of recall of dates for relationships, and under-reporting of partners lead to underestimation of concurrency using date-based measures. Self-reported concurrency is much easier to measure and appears more complete.
AIDS (London, England) 05/2012; 26(8):977-85. · 4.91 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To identify clinical predictors of mortality in HIV-2-infected individuals that may be used in place of CD4 count or plasma viral load (PVL) to guide treatment management in resource-limited settings.
A prospective community cohort study of HIV-infected and HIV-negative individuals in a rural area of Guinea-Bissau has been ongoing since 1989. In 2003 participants were invited for a clinical examination and blood tests. They were followed-up for vital status until 2010. Antiretroviral treatment (ART) became available in 2007. Cox regression was used to examine the association of clinical measures (World Health Organization (WHO) stage, body mass index (BMI), mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC), and WHO performance scale) measured in 2003 with subsequent mortality.
In 2003, 146 HIV-2-infected individuals (68% women; mean age 56 years) were examined. Over the next 7 years, 44 (30%) died. BMI<18.5kg/m(2) was associated with a crude mortality hazard ratio (HR) of 1.9 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.0-3.9, p=0.08); adjusted for age and sex, HR 1.8 (95% CI 0.9-3.8, p=0.1). MUAC <230mm in women and <240mm in men was also associated with an elevated mortality HR, though statistical evidence was weak (crude HR 2.2, 95% CI 0.9-5.3, p=0.1). WHO clinical stage and WHO performance scale were not associated with mortality (p=0.6 and p=0.2, respectively, for crude associations).
Baseline BMI, MUAC, WHO stage, and WHO performance scale were not strong or statistically significant predictors of mortality among HIV-2-infected individuals. CD4 count and PVL are more reliable tools, when available, for the management of HIV-2-infected patients in the community setting.
International journal of infectious diseases: IJID: official publication of the International Society for Infectious Diseases 03/2012; 16(5):e337-43. · 2.17 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Antiretroviral (ART) scale-up in Malawi has been achieved on a large scale based mainly on clinical criteria. Simple markers of prognosis are useful, and we investigated the value of very early anthropometric changes in predicting mortality.
Adult patients who initiated ART in Karonga District, northern Malawi, between September 2005 and August 2006 were included in a prospective cohort study, and followed for up to one year. We used Cox regression to examine the association between anthropometric changes at 2 and 6 weeks and deaths within the first year. 573 patients were included, of whom 59% were women; the median age at initiation was 37 and 64% were in WHO stage 4. Both body mass index (BMI) and mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) increased linearly with increased time on ART, and were closely correlated with each other. There were 118 deaths. After 2 weeks on ART, a BMI increase of <0.5 kg/m(2) (HR 2.47, 95%CI 1.24-4.94, p=0.005) or a MUAC increase of <0.5cm (HR 2.79, 95%CI 1.19-6.55, p=0.008) were strong predictors of death, and these associations were stronger after adjusting for baseline charactertistics. Similar results were found after 6 weeks on ART.
Very early anthropometric changes, after 2 and 6 weeks on ART, are strong predictors of survival, independent of baseline characteristics. This should help identify patients requiring more detailed assessment where facilities are limited. MUAC is particularly valuable, requiring the simplest equipment and being appropriate for patients who have problems standing.