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Incidence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in people with HIV in Ontario, 1996–2015: a retrospective population-based cohort study


Background — Because of high smoking rates and HIV-related factors, people with HIV may be at high risk for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); however, population-based estimates of the incidence of COPD among people with HIV are lacking, particularly for women. We compared the incidence of COPD among Ontario adults aged 35 years or more with and without HIV between Jan. 1, 1996, and Dec. 31, 2015.

Methods — We conducted a population-based study using Ontario’s health administrative databases. We compared the incidence of COPD between people with and without HIV using standardized incidence ratios and generalized estimating equations with a log link function.

Results — We identified 1849 people with HIV and 1 168 727 HIV-negative people who were newly diagnosed with COPD between 1996 and 2015. People with HIV were younger than HIV-negative people (mean age 49.7 [standard deviation 10.4] yr v. 62.2 [standard deviation 14.8] yr; standardized difference 0.98). Rates of COPD were higher among people with HIV than among HIV-negative people (10.4 v. 9.0 cases per 1000 person-years; standardized incidence ratio 1.16, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.10 to 1.21; adjusted rate ratio 1.34, 95% CI 1.27 to 1.41). In sex-stratified analyses, rates of COPD were higher among men with HIV (adjusted rate ratio 1.32, 95% CI 1.24 to 1.40) and women with HIV (adjusted rate ratio 1.54, 95% CI 1.37 to 1.72) than among men and women without HIV. In a sensitivity analysis, smoking explained observed differences in COPD incidence.

Interpretation — People with HIV had higher rates of incident COPD than HIV-negative people. This may reflect the disproportionately higher prevalence of smoking among the former.



Antoniou T, Yao Z, Raboud J, Gershon AS. CMAJ Open. 2020; 8(1):E83-9. Epub 2020 Feb 18.

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