Clinical features and outcomes of COVID-19 admissions in a population with a high prevalence of HIV and tuberculosis: a multicentre cohort study

Background There is still a paucity of evidence on the outcomes of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) among people living with human immunodeficiency virus (PWH) and those co-infected with tuberculosis (TB), particularly in areas where these conditions are common. We describe the clinical features, laboratory findings and outcome of hospitalised PWH and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-uninfected COVID-19 patients as well as those co-infected with tuberculosis (TB). Methods We conducted a multicentre cohort study across three hospitals in Cape Town, South Africa. All adults requiring hospitalisation with confirmed COVID-19 pneumonia from March to July 2020 were analysed. Results PWH comprised 270 (19%) of 1434 admissions. There were 47 patients with active tuberculosis (3.3%), of whom 29 (62%) were PWH. Three-hundred and seventy-three patients (26%) died. The mortality in PWH (n = 71, 26%) and HIV-uninfected patients (n = 296, 25%) was comparable. In patients with TB, PWH had a higher mortality than HIV-uninfected patients (n = 11, 38% vs n = 3, 20%; p = 0.001). In multivariable survival analysis a higher risk of death was associated with older age (Adjusted Hazard Ratio (AHR) 1.03 95%CI 1.02–1.03, p < 0.001), male sex (AHR1.38 (95%CI 1.12–1.72, p = 0.003) and being “overweight or obese” (AHR 1.30 95%CI 1.03–1.61 p = 0.024). HIV (AHR 1.28 95%CI 0.95–1.72, p 0.11) and active TB (AHR 1.50 95%CI 0.84–2.67, p = 0.17) were not independently associated with increased risk of COVID-19 death. Risk factors for inpatient mortality in PWH included CD4 cell count < 200 cells/mm3, higher admission oxygen requirements, absolute white cell counts, neutrophil/lymphocyte ratios, C-reactive protein, and creatinine levels. Conclusion In a population with high prevalence of HIV and TB, being overweight/obese was associated with increased risk of mortality in COVID-19 hospital admissions, emphasising the need for public health interventions in this patient population.