Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 19805489
Int J Epidemiol 2010 Feb;39(1):135-46
BACKGROUND: Little is known about the causes of death in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected women in the era of combination antiretroviral therapy (ART).
METHODS: In the French nationwide Mortalité 2000 and 2005 surveys, physicians reported causes of deaths in HIV-infected adults in 2000 and 2005, using a standardized questionnaire. We used multivariate logistic regression models to study the association between gender and AIDS-defining causes of death, adjusting for other characteristics.
RESULTS: Of the 1013 HIV-infected adults who died in 2005, 247 (24%) were women. Half of women were infected through heterosexual contacts, compared with 25% men. In 2005, the proportion of AIDS-defining causes of death was higher in women than in men (43 vs 34%; P = 0.01), whereas it had been the same in 2000 (47% in women and men). In 2005, women died less frequently than men from respiratory malignancies (lung, ear/nose/throat) and cardiovascular disease (9% of all causes of death in women compared with 16% in men; P = 0.004), and suicides or accidents (4 vs 9%; P = 0.02). Socio-economic precariousness, younger age, less alcohol and tobacco consumption and lack of prior ART explained the higher proportion of deaths from AIDS in women compared with men.
CONCLUSIONS: The higher proportion of AIDS-related deaths in women is probably explained by two factors: (i) some HIV-infected women, especially migrants in poor socio-economic conditions, may not have access to optimal care; and (ii) a lower prevalence of risk factors for respiratory, cardiovascular and violent deaths means that the risk of dying from non-AIDS causes may be lower in women.