HIV-related malignancies: A community-based study using a linkage of cancer registry and HIV registry data

Catherine Donery Cooksley, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Background. Increased incidence of cancer is documented in immunosuppressed transplant patients. Likewise, as survival increases for persons infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), we expect their incidence of cancer to increase. The objective of this study was to examine the current gender specific spectrum of cancer in an HIV infected cohort (especially malignancies not currently associated with Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)) in relation to the general population. Methods. Cancer incidence data was collected for residents of Harris County, Texas who were diagnosed with a malignancy between 1975 and 1994. This data was linked to HIV/AIDS registry data to identify malignancies in an HIV infected cohort of 14,986 persons. A standardized incidence ratio (SIR) analysis was used to compare incidence of cancer in this cohort to that in the general population. Risk factors such as mode of HIV infection, age, race and gender, were evaluated for contribution to the development of cancer within the HIV cohort, using Cox regression techniques. Findings. Of those in the HIV infected cohort, 2289 persons (15%) were identified as having one or more malignancies. The linkage identified 29.5% of these malignancies (males 28.7% females 60.9%). HIV infected men and women had incidences of cancer that were 16.7 (16.1, 17.3) and 2.9 (2.3, 3.7) times that expected for the general population of Harris County, Texas, adjusting for age. Significant SIR's were observed for the AIDS-defining malignancies of Kaposi's sarcoma, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, primary lymphoma of the brain and cancer of the cervix. Additionally, significant SIR's for non-melanotic skin cancer in males, 6.9 (4.8, 9.5) and colon cancer in females, 4.0 (1.1, 10.2) were detected. Among the HIV infected cohort, race/ethnicity of White (relative risk 2.4 with 95% confidence intervals 2.0, 2.8) or Spanish Surname, 2.2 (1.9, 2.7) and an infection route of male to male sex, with, 3.0 (1.9, 4.9) or without, 3.4 (2.1, 5.5) intravenous drug use, increased the risk of having a diagnosis of an incident cancer. Interpretation. There appears to be an increased risk of developing cancer if infected with the HIV. In addition to the malignancies routinely associated with HIV infection, there appears to be an increased risk of being diagnosed with non-melanotic skin cancer in males and colon cancer in females.

Subject Area

Public health|Oncology|Immunology

Recommended Citation

Cooksley, Catherine Donery, "HIV-related malignancies: A community-based study using a linkage of cancer registry and HIV registry data" (1997). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9809538.