Factors affecting attrition in a longitudinal study of patients with AIDS

D. M. Brown, J. E. Thorne, G. L. Foster, J. L. Duncan, L. M. Brune, A. Muñana, C. L. Meinert, D. A. Jabs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Anecdotal data have suggested that retention of HIV-infected patients with immune recovery in longitudinal studies may be difficult as they resume normal activities. This study evaluated risk factors for attrition among patients with AIDS in a cohort study in the era of highly active antiretroviral therapy. Patients with AIDS enrolled in the Longitudinal Study of Ocular Complications of AIDS were evaluated every three months with demographic, clinical and laboratory data collected. Lost to follow-up was defined as any patient who missed all study visits and could not be contacted for 12 consecutive months, who had not died and who did not re-enter the study at a later date. Of the 1,052 patients studied, 77 (7.3%) were lost to follow-up (rate=0.03/person year). In the multivariate analysis, factors associated with attrition were CD4+ T-cell count category (hazard ratio (HR)=2.03; 95%CI: 1.01, 4.24; P=0.05 for CD4+ count ≤ 50 cells/μL and HR=1.96; 95%CI: 1.12, 3.40; P=0.02 for CD4+ count 51-200 cells/μL) and detectable HIV viral load (HR=1.29; 95%CI: 1.07, 1.53; P <0.001 for HIV viral load >400 copies/mL). These data suggest that patients with compromised immunologic status are at an increased risk for being lost to follow-up.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)821-829
Number of pages9
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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