Trends in mortality and causes of death among women with HIV in the United States: A 10-year study

Audrey L. French, Susan H. Gawel, Ronald Hershow, Lorie Benning, Nancy A. Hessol, Alexandra M. Levine, Kathryn Anastos, Michael Augenbraun, Mardge H. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Scopus citations


Background: To assess trends in mortality and cause of death for women with HIV, we studied deaths over a 10-year period among participants in the Women's Interagency HIV Study, a representative US cohort. Methods: Deaths were ascertained by National Death Index Plus match, and causes of death determined by death certificate. Results: From 1995 through 2004, 710 of 2792 HIV-infected participants died. During this interval, the standardized mortality ratio fell from a high of 24.7 in 1996 to a plateau with a mean of 10.3 from 2001 to 2004. Over the decade, deaths from non-AIDS causes increased and accounted for the majority of deaths by 2001-2004. The most common non-AIDS causes of death were trauma or overdose, liver disease, cardiovascular disease, and malignancy. Independent predictors of mortality besides HIV-associated variables were depressive symptoms and active hepatitis B or C. Women who were overweight or obese were significantly less likely to die of AIDS than women of normal weight. Conclusions: In the Women's Interagency HIV Study, the death rate has plateaued in recent years. Although HIV-associated factors predicted AIDS and non-AIDS deaths, other treatable conditions predicted mortality. Further gains in reducing mortality among HIV-infected women may require broader access to therapies for depression, viral hepatitis, and HIV itself.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)399-406
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2009


  • HIV
  • Mortality
  • Non-AIDS mortality
  • Viral hepatitis
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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