COVID-19 Disease Severity among People with HIV Infection or Solid Organ Transplant in the United States: A Nationally-representative, Multicenter, Observational Cohort Study

medRxiv. 2021 Jul 28;2021.07.26.21261028. doi: 10.1101/2021.07.26.21261028. Preprint


Background: Individuals with immune dysfunction, including people with HIV (PWH) or solid organ transplant recipients (SOT), might have worse outcomes from COVID-19. We compared odds of COVID-19 outcomes between patients with and without immune dysfunction.

Methods: We evaluated data from the National COVID-19 Cohort Collaborative (N3C), a multicenter retrospective cohort of electronic medical record (EMR) data from across the United States, on. 1,446,913 adult patients with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. HIV, SOT, comorbidity, and HIV markers were identified from EMR data prior to SARS-CoV-2 infection. COVID-19 disease severity within 45 days of SARS-CoV-2 infection was classified into 5 categories: asymptomatic/mild disease with outpatient care; mild disease with emergency department (ED) visit; moderate disease requiring hospitalization; severe disease requiring ventilation or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO); and death. We used multivariable, multinomial logistic regression models to compare odds of COVID-19 outcomes between patients with and without immune dysfunction.

Findings: Compared to patients without immune dysfunction, PWH and SOT had a greater likelihood of having ED visits (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]: 1.28, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.27-1.29; aOR: 2.61, CI: 2.58-2.65, respectively), requiring ventilation or ECMO (aOR: 1.43, CI: 1.43-1.43; aOR: 4.82, CI: 4.78-4.86, respectively), and death (aOR: 1.20, CI: 1.19-1.20; aOR: 3.38, CI: 3.35-3.41, respectively). Associations were independent of sociodemographic and comorbidity burden. Compared to PWH with CD4>500 cells/mm 3 , PWH with CD4<350 cells/mm 3 were independently at 4.4-, 5.4-, and 7.6-times higher odds for hospitalization, requiring ventilation, and death, respectively. Increased COVID-19 severity was associated with higher levels of HIV viremia.

Interpretation: Individuals with immune dysfunction have greater risk for severe COVID-19 outcomes. More advanced HIV disease (greater immunosuppression and HIV viremia) was associated with higher odds of severe COVID-19 outcomes. Appropriate prevention and treatment strategies should be investigated to reduce the higher morbidity and mortality associated with COVID-19 among PWH and SOT.

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