Higher socioeconomic status is associated with slower progression of HIV infection independent of access to health care

J Clin Epidemiol. 1994 Jan;47(1):59-67. doi: 10.1016/0895-4356(94)90034-5.


In order to identify socioeconomic characteristics associated with slower progression of HIV infection, we conducted a nested case-control study within a cohort of 729 homosexual men. The study compared non-progressors (defined as subjects who, at a follow-up visit during the period October 1989-December 1990, had been HIV positive for at least 5 years, had a CD4 count > 0.5 x 10(9)/l, had a Karnofsky score of 100%, were at Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Stage III or less, and had never received zidovudine or prophylaxis against Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia) with rapid progressors (defined as those who had developed AIDS other than Kaposi's sarcoma within 6 years of seroconversion, or within 5 years of enrollment if already seropositive). Rapidly progressing subjects were matched to non-progressing subjects on the basis of date of enrollment if seroprevalent and date of seroconversion if seroincident. Socioeconomic data were taken from the questionnaire obtained at enrollment into the cohort during 1982-84. There were 41 subjects in each group. A significantly higher proportion of the non-progressors had annual incomes above $10,000, at enrollment (85 vs 62%; p = 0.019). Similarly, a greater proportion of the non-progressors were more likely to have finished secondary school (100 vs 84%; p = 0.020) than rapid progressors. A higher proportion of non-progressors reported employment in management and professional positions (35 vs 15%). The non-progressing group also had a significantly higher socioeconomic index based on self-reported occupation (45.1 vs 38.3; p = 0.035). The association with higher income persisted even after adjustment for baseline CD4 count and symptoms.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / complications
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / etiology
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / prevention & control
  • British Columbia / epidemiology
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cohort Studies
  • Educational Status
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology*
  • HIV Infections / etiology
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Male
  • Occupations
  • Odds Ratio
  • Pneumonia, Pneumocystis / prevention & control
  • Prospective Studies
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Sarcoma, Kaposi / etiology
  • Social Class*
  • Zidovudine / therapeutic use


  • Zidovudine