Journal: Clinical Infectious Diseases
Authors: Keith Sigel, MD, PhD, and Benjamin Glicksberg, PhD, Members of the Mount Sinai COVID Informatics Center, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and other coauthors.
Bottom Line: Patients with compromised immune systems often have worse outcomes from serious infections. HIV, one of the most common causes of immunodeficiency globally, impacts more than 1 million people in the U.S. alone. Data about the effects of the coronavirus on people with HIV remains limited, leaving uncertainty about appropriate clinical treatment and counseling for people with HIV during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Results: Patients with HIV who were hospitalized with COVID-19 did not experience poorer outcomes compared to a similar comparison group of patients. There was little difference in severity of symptoms and outcomes between the two groups.
Why the Research Is Interesting: This study represents the largest and most diverse group of patients with HIV who tested positive for COVID-19 that has been described to date and adds to existing limited evidence that HIV may not be associated with more severe COVID-19 symptoms.
Who: Patients from five hospitals in the Mount Sinai Health System.
When: The peak of the COVID-19 epidemic in New York City during March and April of 2020.
What: The study assessed the outcomes of COVID-19 in patients with HIV, comparing the group to a demographically similar set of patients without HIV who tested positive for COVID-19. It also evaluated factors associated with mortality for patients with HIV that were hospitalized with COVID-19.
Study Conclusions: While mortality and poor outcomes—such as respiratory failure or multi-organ dysfunction—were high among patients with HIV, they were no worse than outcomes for a similar comparison group. COVID patients with HIV did not have evidence of significant immune suppression or elevated HIV virus levels when hospitalized for SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Said Mount Sinai's Dr. Keith Sigel of the research: Throughout the pandemic, we've suspected that immunocompromised patients, such as those with HIV, could be at a higher risk for infection and suffer more severe outcomes, but without data on how COVID-19 affects patients with HIV specifically, clinical guidance for managing and advising these patients has been lacking. This study sets the foundation for future studies in larger cohorts so we can appropriately address treating COVID-19 in patients with HIV.
Said Mount Sinai's Benjamin Glicksberg of the research: Studies such as this exemplify the unique capabilities of the Mount Sinai COVID Informatics Center, in particular, our ability to integrate and analyze multiple modalities of data from COVID-19 patients seen across the Mount Sinai Health System. This framework has enabled clinical practitioners and researchers to address important clinical questions in a rapid, yet robust manner, such as whether COVID-19 outcomes differ for people with HIV. In a pandemic situation and a time of crisis, it is imperative that we learn from these data in a streamlined manner to advance patient care when so much is unknown and poorly understood.
View the full study here: https://academic.oup.com/cid/article/doi/10.1093/cid/ciaa880/5864410
To schedule an interview with Dr. Sigel or Dr. Glicksberg, please contact the Mount Sinai Press Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 347-346-3390.
About the Mount Sinai Health System
The Mount Sinai Health System is New York City's largest academic medical system, encompassing eight hospitals, a leading medical school, and a vast network of ambulatory practices throughout the greater New York region. Mount Sinai is a national and international source of unrivaled education, translational research and discovery, and collaborative clinical leadership ensuring that we deliver the highest quality care—from prevention to treatment of the most serious and complex human diseases. The Health System includes more than 7,200 physicians and features a robust and continually expanding network of multispecialty services, including more than 400 ambulatory practice locations throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, and Long Island. The Mount Sinai Hospital is ranked No. 14 on U.S. News & World Report's "Honor Roll" of the Top 20 Best Hospitals in the country and the Icahn School of Medicine as one of the Top 20 Best Medical Schools in the country. Mount Sinai Health System hospitals are consistently ranked regionally by specialty by U.S. News & World Report.