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Journal of Cancer Epidemiology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 706469, 6 pages
Research Article

Impact of HIV Infection on Medicare Beneficiaries with Lung Cancer

Department of Biostatistics, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 4301 West Markham, No. 781, Little Rock, AR 72205, USA

Received 19 October 2011; Revised 17 January 2012; Accepted 26 January 2012

Academic Editor: Jennifer Beebe-Dimmer

Copyright © 2012 Jeannette Y. Lee et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The incidence of lung cancer among individuals infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is elevated compared to that among the general population. This study examines the prevalence of HIV and its impact on outcomes among Medicare beneficiaries who are 65 years of age or older and were diagnosed with nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC) between 1997 and 2008. Prevalence of HIV was estimated using the Poisson point estimate and its 95% confidence interval. Relative risks for potential risk factors were estimated using the log-binomial model. A total of 111,219 Medicare beneficiaries met the study criteria. The prevalence of HIV was 156.4 per 100,000 (95% CI: 140.8 to 173.8) and has increased with time. Stage at NSCLC diagnosis did not vary by HIV status. Mortality rates due to all causes were 44%, 76%, and 88% for patients with stage I/II, III, and IV NSCLC, respectively. Across stages of disease, there was no difference between those who were HIV-infected and those who were not with respect to overall mortality. HIV patients, however, were more likely to die of causes other than lung cancer than their immunocompetent counterparts.