May 1, 2008
Although the overall rate of adverse events among HIV-positive people initiating antiretroviral treatment does not differ significantly among different races and genders, there are significant differences in the incidence of specific adverse events, according to a study recently published in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, Reuters Health reports. For the study, Ellen Tedaldi of Temple University's School of Medicine and colleagues compared the frequency and types of adverse effects among 1,301 patients who were initiating antiretroviral therapy. The study included 701 black participants, 225 Latinos and 273 women. The study did not find significant differences among races or gender in regard to death from any cause or treatment withdrawal rates because of drug toxicity (Reuters Health, 4/30).
According to the study, several "baseline characteristics" differed based on gender and race -- including age, HIV transmission risk, hepatitis B or C coinfection, viral load, diagnosis of AIDS, body mass index and baseline hypertension (Tedaldi et al., JAIDS, 4/1). Cardiovascular and kidney side effects were 2.64 and 3.83 times more frequent, respectively, among the black participants than among white participants, the study found. This finding was consistent with the increased rates of heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease found among all black men and women, the researchers noted.
Black men experienced 2.45 times higher rates of psychiatric-related adverse events than white men, the study showed. Tedaldi and her team said that it is "likely that grade four psychiatric adverse events represent a constellation of factors that include psychosocial and biologic associations," such as undiagnosed mental illness or the virus' effects on the central nervous system.
Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/hiv. The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation, by The Advisory Board Company. © 2008 by The Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.