Adriana Campa, Sabrina Sales Martinez, Kenneth E Sherman, Joe Pedro Greer,and Yinghui Li
Objective: Liver disease is a frequent cause of morbidity and mortality in HIV infection. We examined the relationship of cocaine use, liver disease progression and mortality in an HIV-infected cohort. Methods: Consent was obtained from 487 HIV+ participants, a subset of the Miami Adult Studies on HIV (MASH) cohort. Participants were eligible if they were followed for at least two years, completed questionnaires on demographics and illicit drug use and had complete metabolic panels, CD4 cell counts and HIV-viral loads. FIB-4 was calculated and cut-off points were used for staging liver fibrosis. Death certificates were obtained. Results: Participants were 65% men, 69% Black and 81% were on ART at recruitment. Cocaine was used by 32% of participants and 29% were HIV/HCV co-infected. Mean age was 46.9 ± 7.7 years, mean CD4 cell count was 501.9 ± 346.7 cells/μL and mean viral load was 2.75 ± 1.3 log10 copies/mL at baseline. During the follow-up, 27 patients died, with a mortality rate of 28.2/1000 personyear. Cocaine was used by 48% of those who died (specific mortality rate was 13/1000 person-year). Those who died were more likely to use cocaine (HR=3.8, P=0.006) and have more advanced liver fibrosis (HR=1.34, P<0.0001), adjusting for age, gender, CD4 cell count and HIV-viral load at baseline and over time. Among the HIV mono-infected participants, cocaine users were 5 times more likely to die (OR=5.09, P=0.006) than participants who did not use cocaine. Conclusion: Cocaine use and liver fibrosis are strong and independent predictors of mortality in HIV infected and HIV/HCV co-infected adults. Effective interventions to reduce cocaine use among people living with HIV (PHLW) are needed.