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Keywords:

  • cirrhosis;
  • hepatitis C virus;
  • hepatocellular carcinoma;
  • HIV;
  • morbidity;
  • mortality

Background

More than 10 years after the introduction of combination antiretroviral therapy (cART), we examined the trend in the proportion of deaths caused by end-stage liver disease (ESLD) in HIV-infected adults in France between 1995 and 2005.

Design and methods

In 2005, 34 departments prospectively recorded all deaths in HIV-infected patients who were followed in those departments (around 24 000). Results were compared with those of four previous cross-sectional surveys conducted since 1995 using the same methodology.

Results

Among 287 reported deaths in 2005, 100 (35%) were related to AIDS, and 48 (17%) to ESLD. Three out of four patients who died from ESLD-related causes had chronic hepatitis C. Excessive alcohol consumption was reported in approximately half of the patients (48%). At death, 62% of patients had undetectable HIV viral load and the median CD4 count was 237 cells/μL. From 1995 to 2005, the proportion of deaths caused by ESLD increased from 2 to 17% (P<0.001). The proportion of deaths caused by hepatocellular carcinoma increased from 5% in 1995 to 25% in 2005 (P=0.0337).

Conclusions

Over the 10 years from 1995 to 2005, the proportion of deaths caused by hepatitis C virus-related ESLD has increased in HIV-infected patients. ESLD is currently a leading cause of death in this population, with hepatocellular carcinoma representing a quarter of liver-related deaths. Recommendations for the detection of hepatocellular carcinoma should be strictly applied in these patients.