Sexton DJ, Reule S, Solid C, Collins AJ, Foley RN. End-Stage Renal Disease From Human Immunodeficiency Virus–Associated Nephropathy in the United States, 2001 Through 2010. JAMA Intern Med. 2014;174(5):809-811. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.29
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Before the advent of effective antiviral therapy, AIDS was associated with extremely high mortality.1 Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–associated nephropathy (HIVAN) emerged as a common cause of progressive kidney disease in inadequately treated patients predominantly of African descent, characterized by an increasingly evident genetic predisposition.2,3
With access to optimal care, the outlook for HIV-infected individuals has changed substantially in the past 2 decades.4 However, temporal trends in end-stage renal disease (ESRD) from HIVAN in the United States have not been defined systematically.
The main objectives of this study were to enumerate trends in incidence ratios, standardized to 2001-2002, of ESRD from HIVAN treated with renal replacement therapy (RRT) in the United States for 2001 through 2010. In this retrospective study, we used United States Renal Data System standard analysis files to study US patients who initiated maintenance RRT between 2001 and 2010 (N = 1 048 867). Cases of ESRD from HIVAN were those with the primary cause listed as “AIDS nephropathy” on the ESRD Medical Evidence Report.
US census data were used to determine population denominators for each year examined, with race or ethnicity classified as non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, Hispanic, and other.5 The Poisson distribution was applied to calculate incidence rates of RRT-requiring ESRD due to HIVAN. For standardized incidence ratios, expected incidence rates were calculated by applying incidence rates in 2000 for each of the 168 possible combinations of age (21 subgroups), sex (2 subgroups), and race or ethnicity (4 subgroups) to the corresponding subgroup of the US population for each year. Binary logistic regression was used for adjusted between-era comparisons of patients at initiation of RRT. SAS version 9.1.3 (SAS Institute) was used for data analysis. Specific institutional review board approval was not sought for this retrospective registry-based study.
Table 1 shows characteristics at the time of RRT initiation in patients with HIVAN in 2 eras, 2001-2005 and 2006-2010. Age 45 to 64 years and 65 years or older, white race, diabetes mellitus, drug abuse, glomerular filtration rate of more than 15 mL/min/1.73 m2, and body mass index of 25 or higher (calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared) were more prominent from 2006 through 2010.
In 2001-2002, the rate of RRT-requiring ESRD due to HIVAN was 2.9 cases per million per year (Table 2). Standardized incidence ratios declined for the overall population between the 2001-2002 and 2009-2010 biennia, with a stepwise decline from 2005 through 2006. However, standardized incidence ratios increased for patients 65 years and older and those of non-Hispanic white race or ethnicity.
Our study of ESRD from HIVAN suggests both meaningful progress and challenges for the future, with declining overall incidence contrasted by an emergence in older and non-Hispanic white populations.
This retrospective and registry-based study lacks desirable data elements that a prospective design could provide. While a true tissue diagnosis in all patients would be desirable, this aspiration is likely utopian.6 Questions about HIV positivity and AIDS as a comorbid illness at dialysis initiation were removed from the 2005 Medical Evidence Report. Thus, it is not possible to refute with certainty the hypothesis that the apparently salutary trends for HIVAN reflect changing fashions in labeling the cause of renal disease in patients living with HIV and not an alteration in the incidence of HIVAN.
If death rates from causes other than ESRD have declined, competing risk considerations might suggest that incidence rates of HIVAN could increase. In this scenario, a decline in HIVAN rates would be more impressive since survival rates improved during the time frame studied. The availability of aggregated census data (as opposed to longitudinal data for individuals) precludes accurate quantification of the true size of a competing death effect.
Despite its limitations, this study may provide some worthwhile information about two important domains of public health, chronic kidney disease and living with HIV.
Corresponding Author: Robert N. Foley, MB, United States Renal Data System, Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation, 914 S Eighth St, Ste S-406, Minneapolis, MN 55404 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Published Online: March 3, 2014. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.29.
Author Contributions: Dr Foley had full access to all the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.
Study concept and design: Sexton, Collins, Foley.
Acquisition of data: Sexton, Collins, Foley.
Analysis and interpretation of data: Sexton, Reule, Solid, Foley.
Drafting of the manuscript: Sexton, Reule, Foley.
Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: All authors.
Statistical analysis: Sexton, Reule, Foley.
Obtained funding: Collins, Foley.
Study supervision: Collins, Foley.
Conflict of Interest Disclosures: None reported.
Funding/Support: This study was performed under contract HHSN267200715002C (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland).
Role of the Sponsor: The funding source had no role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.
Additional Contributions: Delaney Berrini, BS, and Nan Booth, MSW, MPH, ELS, both from the United States Renal Data System, assisted with manuscript preparation and manuscript editing, respectively.