HIV and COPD: Impact of risk behaviors and diseases on quality of life

M. Bradley Drummond, Gregory D. Kirk, Meredith C. McCormack, Mariah M. Marshall, Erin P. Ricketts, Shruti H. Mehta, Robert A. Wise, Christian A. Merlo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Purpose: Smoking worsens quality of life among HIV-infected individuals, but it remains unclear if this association is related simply to smoking or to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the end-organ disease caused by smoking. Methods: Using cross-sectional data from the AIDS Linked to the Intravenous Experience study, we determined the independent effects of smoking, HIV and COPD assessed using the Medical Outcome Studies-HIV questionnaire. Results: Of 973 participants, 287 (29.5%) were HIV infected and 151 (15.5%) had spirometry-defined obstruction. Eight hundred and thirty-four (85.7%) were current smokers with 23.3 mean pack-years history. HIV infection was independently associated with reduced physical and mental health. COPD was associated with a trend toward worse physical health (-1.48 units; 95%CI -3.33 to 0.38; p = 0.12) and was independently associated with worse mental health (-2.43 units; 95%CI -4.22 to -0.64; p < 0.01). After accounting for COPD and other covariates, smoking was not associated with changes in physical or mental health. Conclusions: The presence of COPD, rather than smoking, is associated with worse quality of life independent of HIV infection. Diagnosis and management of COPD in former or current smokers with or at risk for HIV may further improve quality of life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1295-1302
Number of pages8
JournalQuality of Life Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 2010


  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Human immunodeficiency virus
  • Injection drug use
  • Quality of life
  • Smoking
  • Tobacco use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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