Little research focuses on the association between immune thrombocytopenic purpura and human immunodeficiency virus infection in Taiwan. This study investigated whether immune thrombocytopenic purpura might be an early hematologic manifestation of undiagnosed human immunodeficiency virus infection in Taiwan. We conducted a retrospective population-based cohort study using data of individuals enrolled in Taiwan National Health Insurance Program. There were 5472 subjects aged 1–84 years with a new diagnosis of immune thrombocytopenic purpura as the purpura group since 1998–2010 and 21,887 sex-matched and age-matched, randomly selected subjects without immune thrombocytopenic purpura as the non-purpura group. The incidence of human immunodeficiency virus infection at the end of 2011 was measured in both groups. We used the multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression model to measure the hazard ratio and 95 % confidence interval (CI) for the association between immune thrombocytopenic purpura and human immunodeficiency virus infection. The overall incidence of human immunodeficiency virus infection was 6.47-fold higher in the purpura group than that in the non-purpura group (3.78 vs. 0.58 per 10,000 person-years, 95 % CI 5.83–7.18). After controlling for potential confounding factors, the adjusted HR of human immunodeficiency virus infection was 6.3 (95 % CI 2.58–15.4) for the purpura group, as compared with the non-purpura group. We conclude that individuals with immune thrombocytopenic purpura are 6.47-fold more likely to have human immunodeficiency virus infection than those without immune thrombocytopenic purpura. We suggest not all patients, but only those who have risk factors for human immunodeficiency virus infection should receive testing for undiagnosed human immunodeficiency virus infection when they develop immune thrombocytopenic purpura.
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This study was supported in part by the Taiwan Ministry of Health and Welfare Clinical Trial and Research Center of Excellence (MOHW105-TDU-B-212-133019). This funding agency did not influence the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Statements of human and animal rights
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
S.-W. Lai and H.-F. Lin contributed equally to this study.
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Lai, SW., Lin, HF., Lin, CL. et al. Immune thrombocytopenic purpura might be an early hematologic manifestation of undiagnosed human immunodeficiency virus infection. Intern Emerg Med 12, 157–162 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11739-016-1520-9
- Human immunodeficiency virus
- Immune thrombocytopenic purpura