Chronic lung disease in children and adolescents with HIV: a case‐control study
Objective: To describe the features of HIV-associated chronic lung disease (CLD) in older children and adolescents living with HIV and to examine the clinical factors associated with CLD. This is a post-hoc analysis of baseline data from the BREATHE clinical trial (ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02426112). Methods: Children and adolescents aged 6-19 years were screened for CLD (defined as a FEV1 z-score <-1 with no reversibility post-bronchodilation with salbutamol) at two HIV clinics in Harare, Zimbabwe and Blantyre, Malawi. Eligible participants with CLD (cases) were enrolled, together with a control group without CLD (frequency-matched by age group and duration on ART) in a 4:1 allocation ratio. A clinical history and examination was undertaken. The association between CLD and a priori-defined demographic and clinical covariates was investigated using multivariable logistic regression. Results: Of the 1,585 participants screened, 419 (32%) had a FEV1 z- score <-1, of whom 347 were enrolled as cases (median age 15.3 years [IQR 12.7 -17.7]; 48.9% female), and 74 with FEV1 z-score>0 as controls (median age 15.6 years [IQR 12.1 -18.2]; 62.2% female). Amongst cases, current respiratory symptoms including cough and shortness of breath were reported infrequently (9.3% and 1.8%, respectively). However, 152 (43.8%) of cases had a respiratory rate above the 90th centile for their age. Wasting and taking second-line antiretroviral treatment (ART) were independently associated with CLD. Conclusions: The presence of CLD indicates the need to address additional treatment support for youth living with HIV, alongside ART provision, to ensure a healthier adulthood.