The potential for changing HIV-1 virulence has significant implications for the AIDS epidemic, including changing HIV transmission rates, rapidity of disease progression, and timing of ART. Published data to date have provided conflicting results.
We conducted a meta-analysis of changes in baseline CD4+ T-cell counts and set point plasma viral RNA load over time in order to establish whether summary trends are consistent with changing HIV-1 virulence.
We searched PubMed for studies of trends in HIV-1 prognostic markers of disease progression and supplemented findings with publications referenced in epidemiological or virulence studies. We identified 12 studies of trends in baseline CD4+ T-cell counts (21 052 total individuals), and eight studies of trends in set point viral loads (10 785 total individuals), spanning the years 1984–2010. Using random-effects meta-analysis, we estimated summary effect sizes for trends in HIV-1 plasma viral loads and CD4+ T-cell counts.
Baseline CD4+ T-cell counts showed a summary trend of decreasing cell counts [effect=−4.93 cells/µl per year, 95% confidence interval (CI) −6.53 to −3.3]. Set point viral loads showed a summary trend of increasing plasma viral RNA loads (effect=0.013 log10 copies/ml per year, 95% CI −0.001 to 0.03). The trend rates decelerated in recent years for both prognostic markers.
Our results are consistent with increased virulence of HIV-1 over the course of the epidemic. Extrapolating over the 30 years since the first description of AIDS, this represents a CD4+ T cells loss of approximately 148 cells/µl and a gain of 0.39 log10 copies/ml of viral RNA measured during early infection. These effect sizes would predict increasing rates of disease progression, and need for ART as well as increasing transmission risk.
CD4 lymphocyte count; disease progression; HIV infections/epidemiology; HIV infections/virology; HIV pathogenicity; viral load/trends; virulence
To estimate the association of antiretroviral therapy initiation with incident acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) or death while accounting for time-varying confounding in a cost-efficient manner, the authors combined a case-cohort study design with inverse probability-weighted estimation of a marginal structural Cox proportional hazards model. A total of 950 adults who were positive for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 were followed in 2 US cohort studies between 1995 and 2007. In the full cohort, 211 AIDS cases or deaths occurred during 4,456 person-years. In an illustrative 20% random subcohort of 190 participants, 41 AIDS cases or deaths occurred during 861 person-years. Accounting for measured confounders and determinants of dropout by inverse probability weighting, the full cohort hazard ratio was 0.41 (95% confidence interval: 0.26, 0.65) and the case-cohort hazard ratio was 0.47 (95% confidence interval: 0.26, 0.83). Standard multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios were closer to the null, regardless of study design. The precision lost with the case-cohort design was modest given the cost savings. Results from Monte Carlo simulations demonstrated that the proposed approach yields approximately unbiased estimates of the hazard ratio with appropriate confidence interval coverage. Marginal structural model analysis of case-cohort study designs provides a cost-efficient design coupled with an accurate analytic method for research settings in which there is time-varying confounding.
acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; case-cohort studies; cohort studies; confounding bias; HIV; pharmacoepidemiology; selection bias
Epidemiological evidence has suggested that consumption of a diet rich in cruciferous vegetables reduces the risk of several types of cancers and chronic degenerative diseases. In particular, broccoli sprouts are a convenient and rich source of the glucosinolate, glucoraphanin, which can release the chemopreventive agent, sulforaphane, an inducer of glutathione S-transferases. Two broccoli sprout-derived beverages, one sulforaphane-rich (SFR) and the other glucoraphanin-rich (GRR), were evaluated for pharmacodynamic action in a crossover clinical trial design. Study participants were recruited from the farming community of He Zuo Township, Qidong, China, previously documented to have a high incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma with concomitant exposures to aflatoxin and more recently characterized with exposures to substantive levels of airborne pollutants. Fifty healthy participants were randomized into two treatment arms. The study protocol was as follows: a 5 days run-in period, a 7 days administration of beverage, a 5 days washout period and a 7 days administration of the opposite beverage. Urinary excretion of the mercapturic acids of acrolein, crotonaldehyde, ethylene oxide and benzene were measured both pre- and postinterventions using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. Statistically significant increases of 20–50% in the levels of excretion of glutathione-derived conjugates of acrolein, crotonaldehyde and benzene were seen in individuals receiving SFR, GRR or both compared with their preintervention baseline values. No significant differences were seen between the effects of SFR versus GRR. Intervention with broccoli sprouts may enhance detoxication of airborne pollutants and attenuate their associated health risks.
The incidence of Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS) and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals declined following the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in the mid 1990s, but the cancer risk associated with HIV infection during the HAART era remains to be clarified.
We compared cancer incidence among HIV-infected and -uninfected participants in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS) between 1984 and 2007 to the expected incidence using US population-based data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program, and we compared age and race adjusted cancer incidence rates by HIV status and over time within the MACS. Exact statistical methods were used for all analyses.
933 incident cancers were observed during 77,320 person-years of follow-up. Compared to SEER, MACS HIV-infected men had significantly (p<0.05) elevated rates of KS (standardized incidence ratio (SIR)=139.10), NHL (SIR=36.80), Hodgkin’s lymphoma (HL) (SIR=7.30), and anal cancer (SIR=25.71). Within MACS, HIV infection was independently associated with each of these cancers across the entire follow-up period, and KS (incidence rate ratio (IRR)=54.93), NHL (IRR=11.18), and anal cancer (IRR=18.50) were each significantly elevated among HIV-infected men during the HAART era. Among these men, the incidence of KS and NHL declined (IRR=0.13 and 0.23, respectively), anal cancer incidence increased (IRR=5.84), and HL incidence remained statistically unchanged (IRR=0.75) from the pre-HAART to the HAART era.
Cancer risk remains elevated among HIV-infected men who have sex with men, highlighting the continuing need for appropriate cancer screening in this population.
HIV infection; cancer incidence; malignancy; AIDS-defining malignancy; HAART
The association between methamphetamine use and HIV seroconversion for men who have sex with men (MSM) was examined using longitudinal data from the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study.
Seronegative (n=4003) men enrolled in 1984–85, 1987–1991 and 2001–2003 were identified. Recent methamphetamine and popper use were determined at either the current or the previous visit. Time to HIV-seroconversion was the outcome of interest. Covariates included race/ethnicity, cohort, study site, educational level, number of sexual partners, number of unprotected insertive anal sexual partners (UIAS), number of unprotected receptive anal sexual partners (URAS), insertive rimming, cocaine use at either the current or last visit, ecstasy use at either the current or last visit, any needle use since last visit, CES-D depression score > 16 since last visit, and alcohol consumption.
After adjusting for covariates, there was an approximately 1.46-fold independent increased relative hazard (HR) of HIV seroconversion for methamphetamine use. The HR associated with popper use was 2.1 [95% CI 1.63, 2.70]. The HR of HIV seroconversion increased with URAS ranging from 1.87 [95% CI 1.40, 2.51] for 1 partner to 9.32 [95% CI 6.20, 13.98] for 5+ partners. The joint HR for methamphetamine and popper use was 3.05 [95% CI 2.12, 4.37]. Most notably, there was a significant joint HR for methamphetamine use and URAS of 2.71 [95% CI 1.81, 4.04] for men with 1 unprotected receptive anal sex partner, which increased in a dose-dependent manner for >1 partners.
Further examination of the synergism of patterns of drug use and sexual risk behaviors on rates of HIV seroconversion will be necessary in order to develop new HIV prevention strategies for drug-using MSM.
Multicenter AIDS cohort study; methamphetamine; HIV seroconversion; MSM
We compared three ad hoc methods to estimate the marginal hazard of incident cancer AIDS in a highly active antiretroviral therapy (1996–2006) relative to a monotherapy/combination therapy (1990–1996) calendar period, accounting for other AIDS events and deaths as competing risks.
Study Design and Setting
Among 1911 HIV+ men from the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study, 228 developed cancer AIDS and 745 developed competing risks in 14,202 person-years from 1990–2006. Method 1 censored competing risks at the time they occurred, method 2 excluded competing risks, and method 3 censored competing risks at the date of analysis.
The age, race and infection duration adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) for cancer AIDS were similar for all methods (HR≅0.15). We estimated bias and CI coverage of each method with Monte Carlo simulation. On average across 24 scenarios, method 1 produced less biased estimates than methods 2 or 3.
When competing risks are independent of the event of interest, only method 1 produced unbiased estimates of the marginal HR, though independence cannot be verified from the data. When competing risks are dependent, method 1 generally produced the least biased estimates of the marginal HR for the scenarios explored; however, alternative methods may be preferred.
Competing risks; epidemiology; HIV; highly active antiretroviral therapy; cancer
Background. Screening for tuberculosis prior to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) initiation is not routinely performed in low-incidence settings. Identifying factors associated with developing tuberculosis after HAART initiation could focus screening efforts.
Methods. Sixteen cohorts in the United States and Canada contributed data on persons infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) who initiated HAART December 1995–August 2009. Parametric survival models identified factors associated with tuberculosis occurrence.
Results. Of 37845 persons in the study, 145 were diagnosed with tuberculosis after HAART initiation. Tuberculosis risk was highest in the first 3 months of HAART (20 cases; 215 cases per 100000 person-years; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 131–333 per 100000 person-years). In a multivariate Weibull proportional hazards model, baseline CD4+ lymphocyte count <200, black race, other nonwhite race, Hispanic ethnicity, and history of injection drug use were independently associated with tuberculosis risk. In addition, in a piece-wise Weibull model, increased baseline HIV-1 RNA was associated with increased tuberculosis risk in the first 3 months; male sex tended to be associated with increased risk.
Conclusions. Screening for active tuberculosis prior to HAART initiation should be targeted to persons with baseline CD4 <200 lymphocytes/mm3 or increased HIV-1 RNA, persons of nonwhite race or Hispanic ethnicity, history of injection drug use, and possibly male sex.
In the general population, frailty, a late stage of the aging process, predicts mortality. We investigated whether manifesting a previously defined frailty-related phenotype (FRP) before initiating highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) affects the likelihood of developing clinical AIDS or mortality after HAART initiation.
Among 596 HIV-infected men in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study whose date of HAART initiation was known within ±6 months and who had an assessable FRP status within 3 years before HAART, survival analyses were performed to assess the effect of FRP manifestation on clinical AIDS or death after HAART.
In men free of AIDS before HAART, AIDS or death after HAART occurred in 13/36 (36%) men who exhibited the FRP before HAART but only in 69/436 (16%) men who did not (hazard ratio = 2.6; 95% confidence interval = 1.4–4.6; p < .01). After adjusting for age, ethnicity, education, nadir CD4+ T-cell count, peak HIV viral load, and hemoglobin in the 3 years before HAART, having the FRP at >25% of visits in the 3 years before HAART significantly predicted AIDS or death (adjusted hazard ratio = 3.8; 95% confidence interval = 1.9–7.9; p < .01). Results were unchanged when the analysis was restricted to the 335 AIDS-free men who were HAART responders, to the 124 men who had AIDS at HAART initiation, or to the subsets of men for whom indices of liver and kidney function could be taken into account.
Having a persistent frailty-like phenotype before HAART initiation predicted a worse prognosis after HAART, independent of known risk factors.
HIV; Aging; Frailty; HAART response; Survival analysis
Cystatin C has been proposed as an alternative marker of kidney function among HIV-infected persons in whom serum creatinine is affected by extra-renal factors.
In this cross-sectional study, we compared estimated glomerular filtration rates (eGFR) using serum creatinine versus cystatin C between 150 HIV-uninfected and 783 HIV-infected men. We evaluated the prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD; eGFR<60 mL/min/1.73 m2) and examined the influence of extra-renal factors on GFR-estimates among HIV-infected men.
Estimated GFRSCR was similar by HIV serostatus, but eGFRCYSC was lower in HIV-infected men. A higher proportion of HIV-infected men were classified as having CKD when using eGFRCYSC versus eGFRSCR (7% vs. 5%, P<0.01). In HIV-infected individuals without CKD, eGFRSCR was higher than eGFRCYSC while it was lower than eGFRCYSC in persons with CKD. In HIV-infected men, older age, proteinuria, and prior clinical AIDS were inversely associated with both GFR-estimates. Higher serum albumin levels and ACE-inhibitor/ARB use were associated with lower eGFRSCR. HIV viral load, hepatitis C co-infection, and serum alkaline phosphatase were inversely associated with eGFRCYSC.
Among HIV-uninfected and HIV-infected men of similar social risk behaviors, GFR estimates differed by biomarker and kidney function level. Estimated GFRCYSC classified a larger proportion of HIV-infected men with CKD compared to eGFRSCR. Differences between these GFR-estimating methods may be due to the effects of extra-renal factors on serum creatinine and cystatin C. Until GFR-estimating equations are validated among HIV-infected individuals, current GFR estimates based on these biomarkers should be interpreted with care in this patient population.
HIV; kidney disease; serum creatinine; cystatin C; glomerular filtration rate; Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study
Understanding the characteristics of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) necessary for infection in a new host is a critical goal for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) research. We studied the characteristics of HIV-1 envelope genes in 38 men in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study cohort before seroconversion. We found a range of diversity (0.2%–5.6% [median, 0.86%]), V1–V2 loop length (58 –93 aa), and potential N-linked glycosylation sites (n = 2–9) 9). However, at least 46% of the men had replicating virus that appeared to have been derived from a single viral variant. Nearly all variants were predicted to be CCR5 tropic. We found no correlation between these viral characteristics and the HIV outcomes of time to clinical AIDS or death and/or aCD4 cell count <200 cells/μL.
The risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is greatly increased in HIV infection. The aim of this study was to determine if elevated serum levels of molecules associated with B cell activation precede the diagnosis of AIDS-associated NHL.
Serum levels of B cell activation-associated molecules, interleukin-6 (IL6), interleukin-10 (IL10), soluble CD23 (sCD23), soluble CD27 (sCD27), soluble CD30 (sCD30), C-reactive protein (CRP), and IgE were determined in 179 NHL cases and HIV+ controls in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study, collected at up to three time points per subject, 0–5 years prior to AIDS-NHL diagnosis.
Serum IL6, IL10, CRP, sCD23, sCD27, and sCD30 levels were all significantly elevated in the AIDS-NHL group, when compared to HIV+ controls or to AIDS controls, after adjusting for CD4 T cell number. Elevated serum levels of B cell activation-associated molecules were seen to be associated with the development of systemic (non-CNS) NHL, but not with the development of primary CNS lymphoma.
Levels of certain B cell stimulatory cytokines and molecules associated with immune activation are elevated for several years preceding the diagnosis of systemic AIDS-NHL. This observation is consistent with the hypothesis that chronic B cell activation contributes to the development of these hematologic malignancies.
Marked differences in serum levels of several molecules are seen for several years pre-diagnosis in those who eventually develop AIDS-NHL. Some of these molecules may serve as candidate biomarkers and provide valuable information to better define the etiology of NHL.
lymphoma; B cell; cytokines; AIDS; immune activation
Chronic inflammation and B-cell hyperactivation are seen in HIV infection, contributing to an increased risk for the accrual of genetic errors that may result in B-cell lymphoma. The primary objective of this study was to determine the effect of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) on serum levels of molecules that are associated with immune activation and/or inflammation, including several that are associated with B-cell activation, specifically IL-6, sCD30, sCD27, IgG, IgA, CXCL13 (B lymphocyte chemoattractant, BLC), a B-lymphocyte chemokine involved in B-cell trafficking, as well as C-reactive protein, an acute-phase protein.
We used a retrospective cohort study design, measuring serum levels of these markers at each of four 1-year intervals, 2 years before and 2 years after HAART initiation, in a subgroup of 290 HIV-infected men enrolled in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS).
Serum levels of immune activation-associated molecules were measured by ELISA and multiplexed immunometric assays. Reference values were determined by the 5th to 95th percentiles from a sample of 109 HIV-uninfected MACS men.
HAART use was associated with a reduction, but not normalization, of most biomarkers tested. Serum levels of IL-6 and C-reactive protein appeared to be unaffected by HAART.
These results suggest a partial normalization of serum cytokine levels post HAART. However, a chronic state of B-cell hyperactivation continues 2–3 years after HAART initiation. These findings may explain, in part, the excess incidence of lymphoma still occurring in HIV-infected persons in the post-HAART era.
activation; AIDS; antiretroviral therapy; B lymphocytes; highly active; HIV; non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
One of several challenges in design of clinical chemoprevention trials is the selection of the dose, formulation and dose schedule of the intervention agent. Therefore, a cross-over clinical trial was undertaken to compare the bioavailability and tolerability of sulforaphane from two of broccoli sprout-derived beverages: one glucoraphanin-rich (GRR) and the other sulforaphane-rich (SFR). Sulforaphane was generated from glucoraphanin contained in GRR by gut microflora or formed by treatment of GRR with myrosinase from daikon (Raphanus sativus) sprouts to provide SFR. Fifty healthy, eligible participants were requested to refrain from crucifer consumption and randomized into two treatment arms. The study design was as follows: 5-day run-in period, 7-day administration of beverages, 5-day washout period, and 7-day administration of the opposite intervention. Isotope dilution mass spectrometry was used to measure levels of glucoraphanin, sulforaphane and sulforaphane thiol conjugates in urine samples collected daily throughout the study. Bioavailability, as measured by urinary excretion of sulforaphane and its metabolites (in approximately 12 hour collections after dosing), was substantially greater with the SFR (mean = 70%) than with GRR (mean = 5%) beverages. Interindividual variability in excretion was considerably lower with SFR than GRR beverage. Elimination rates were considerably slower with GRR allowing for achievement of steady state dosing as opposed to bolus dosing with SFR. Optimal dosing formulations in future studies should consider blends of sulforaphane and glucoraphanin as SFR and GRR mixtures to achieve peak concentrations for activation of some targets and prolonged inhibition of others implicated in the protective actions of sulforaphane.
sulforaphane; glucoraphanin; broccoli sprouts; clinical trial
An optimal measurement of glomerular filtration rate (GFR) should minimize the number of blood draws, and reduce procedural invasiveness and the burden to study personnel and cost, without sacrificing accuracy. Equations have been proposed to calculate GFR from the slow compartment separately for adults and children. To develop a universal equation, we used 1347 GFR measurements from two diverse groups consisting of 527 men in the Multi center AIDS Cohort Study and 514 children in the Chronic Kidney Disease in Children cohort. Both studies used nearly identical two-compartment (fast and slow) protocols to measure GFR. To estimate the fast component from markers of body size and of the slow component, we used standard linear regression methods with the log-transformed fast area as the dependent variable. The fast area could be accurately estimated from body surface area by a simple parameter (6.4/body surface area) with no residual dependence on the slow area or other markers of body size. Our equation measures only the slow iohexol plasma disappearance curve with as few as two time points and was normalized to 1.73m2 body surface area. It is of the form: GFR=slowGFR/[1+0.12 (slowGFR/100)]. In a random sample utilizing a third of the patients for validation, there was excellent agreement between the calculated and measured GFR with low root mean square errors being 4.6 and 1.5ml/min per 1.73m2 for adults and children, respectively. Thus, our proposed simple equation, developed in a combined patient group with a broad range of GFRs, may be applied universally and is independent of the injected amount of iohexol.
iohexol; glomerular filtration rate; plasma disappearance curves; renal function; kidney disease; nephrology
The concentrations of cytokines in human serum and plasma can provide valuable information about in vivo immune status, but low concentrations often require high-sensitivity assays to permit detection. The recent development of multiplex assays, which can measure multiple cytokines in one small sample, holds great promise, especially for studies in which limited volumes of stored serum or plasma are available. Four high-sensitivity cytokine multiplex assays on a Luminex (Bio-Rad, BioSource, Linco) or electrochemiluminescence (Meso Scale Discovery) platform were evaluated for their ability to detect circulating concentrations of 13 cytokines, as well as for laboratory and lot variability. Assays were performed in six different laboratories utilizing archived serum from HIV-uninfected and -infected subjects from the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS) and the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) and commercial plasma samples spanning initial HIV viremia. In a majority of serum samples, interleukin-6 (IL-6), IL-8, IL-10, and tumor necrosis factor alpha were detectable with at least three kits, while IL-1β was clearly detected with only one kit. No single multiplex panel detected all cytokines, and there were highly significant differences (P < 0.001) between laboratories and/or lots with all kits. Nevertheless, the kits generally detected similar patterns of cytokine perturbation during primary HIV viremia. This multisite comparison suggests that current multiplex assays vary in their ability to measure serum and/or plasma concentrations of cytokines and may not be sufficiently reproducible for repeated determinations over a long-term study or in multiple laboratories but may be useful for longitudinal studies in which relative, rather than absolute, changes in cytokines are important.
New HIV infections are being observed among men who have sex with men. Understanding the fusion of risky sexual behaviors, stimulant and erectile dysfunction drug use with HIV seroconversion may provide direction for focused intervention.
During the follow-up period (1998–2008) we identified 57 HIV seroconverters among 1,667 initially HIV-seronegative men. Time to seroconversion was modeled using Cox proportional hazards regression analysis for 7 combinations of sex-drugs (inhaled nitrites or “poppers”, stimulants, and EDDs) used at the current or previous semi-annual visit, adjusting for other risk factors including sexual behavior, alcohol and other drugs used, and depression. Model-based adjusted attributable risks were then calculated.
The risk of seroconversion increased linearly with the number of unprotected receptive anal sex partners (URASP), with hazard ratios (HR) ranging from 1.73 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.75, 4.01) for 1 partner, to 4.23 (95% CI: 1.76, 10.17) for 2–4 partners to 14.21 (95% CI: 6.27, 32.20) for 5+ partners, independent of other risk factors. After adjustment, risks for seroconversion increased from 2.99 (95% CI: 1.02, 8.76) for men who reported using stimulants only (1 drug) to 8.45 (95% CI: 2.67, 26.71) for men who reported using all 3 sex-drugs. The use of any of the 7 possible sex-drug combinations accounted for 63% of the nine-year HIV seroincidence in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS). When contributions of increased URASP and combination drug use were analyzed together, the total attributable risk for HIV seroconversion was 74%, with 41% attributable to URASP alone and a residual of 33% due to other direct or indirect effects of sex-drug use.
Use of poppers, stimulants and EDDs increased risk for HIV seroconversion significantly in this cohort. These data reinforce the importance of implementing interventions that target drug-reduction as part of comprehensive and efficacious HIV prevention strategies.
Multicenter AIDS cohort study; MSM; stimulants; inhaled nitrites; erectile dysfunction drugs; HIV seroconversion; non-intravenous drug use
Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpes virus (KSHV) infects B-cells and is found in non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) B-cell tumors and could therefore contribute to the occurrence of NHL. We performed a nested case–control study including 155 incident NHL cases and matched noncancer controls. Pre-NHL serum was tested for KSHV DNA and antibodies. Serum KSHV DNA was more common in cases than controls (14% versus 6%, P = 0.03), but after adjustment, the difference was not significant. Epstein-Barr virus serum DNA was similarly unassociated with NHL as were KSHV antibodies. KSHV is not a primary cause of NHL in HIV-infected men who have sex with men.
Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirusp; non-Hodgkin lymphoma; MACS; human herpesvirus 8; DNA; AIDS cancer
The presence of antibody to R7V (anti-R7VAb), a seven-amino acid sequence derived from β2-microglobulin incorporated into HIV-1 virions from the surface of infected cells, has been proposed as an early marker of nonprogressive HIV-1 infection. The present study was undertaken because no prospective studies have tested this hypothesis. Stored samples collected prospectively from 361 HIV-1 seroconverting men in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (0.44–1.53 years after seroconversion) were assayed for the presence or absence of anti-R7VAb, using a standardized ELISA. Using Cox proportional hazards models, crude and adjusted relative hazards (RH) were determined for the following outcomes: (a) clinically defined AIDS, (b) clinically defined AIDS or CD4 T cell count of <200 cells/μl, and (c) death. A total of 143 (39.6%) men had early anti-R7VAb and 218 (60.4%) did not; 192 (53.2%) developed AIDS. At the visit tested, men with anti-R7VAb had significantly lower CD4 T cell counts and higher plasma HIV-1 viral loads than those without antibody. After adjustment for CD4 T cell count, HIV-1 viral load, CCR5 polymorphism, and use of combined antiretroviral therapy, the presence of anti-R7VAb was associated with a higher risk of progression for all outcomes, but not significantly so. Absence of anti-R7VAb was significantly associated with expression of HLA-B*5701 and -B*2705, two alleles associated with slower progression of HIV-1 disease. The early presence of anti-R7VAb in HIV-1 seroconverters was not associated with slower progression of HIV-1 disease.
Typical applications of marginal structural time-to-event (e.g., Cox) models have used time on study as the time scale. Here, the authors illustrate use of time on treatment as an alternative time scale. In addition, a method is provided for estimating Kaplan-Meier–type survival curves for marginal structural models. For illustration, the authors estimate the total effect of highly active antiretroviral therapy on time to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) or death in 1,498 US men and women infected with human immunodeficiency virus and followed for 6,556 person-years between 1995 and 2002; 323 incident cases of clinical AIDS and 59 deaths occurred. Of the remaining 1,116 participants, 77% were still under observation at the end of follow-up. By using time on study, the hazard ratio for AIDS or death comparing always with never using highly active antiretroviral therapy from the marginal structural model was 0.52 (95% confidence interval: 0.35, 0.76). By using time on treatment, the analogous hazard ratio was 0.44 (95% confidence interval: 0.32, 0.60). In time-to-event analyses, the choice of time scale may have a meaningful impact on estimates of association and precision. In the present example, use of time on treatment yielded a hazard ratio further from the null and more precise than use of time on study as the time scale.
acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; antiretroviral therapy, highly active; bias (epidemiology); causal inference; confounding factors (epidemiology); proportional hazards model; survival curve; survival time
Two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in adjacent genes, lymphotoxin alpha (LTA +252G, rs909253 A>G) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF −308A, rs1800629 G>A), form the G-A haplotype repeatedly associated with increased risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) in individuals uninfected with HIV-1. This association has been observed alone or in combination with HLA-B* 08 or HLA-DRB1*03 in the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). Which gene variant on this highly conserved extended haplotype (CEH 8.1) in Caucasians most likely represents a true etiologic factor remains uncertain. We aimed to determine whether the reported association of the G-A haplotype of LTA-TNF with non-AIDS NHL also occurs with AIDS-related NHL. SNPs in LTA and TNF and in six other genes nearby were typed in 140 non-Hispanic European American pairs of AIDS-NHL cases and matched controls selected from HIV-infected men in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study. The G-A haplotype and a 4-SNP haplotype in the neighboring gene cluster (rs537160 (A) rs1270942 (G), rs2072633 (A) and rs6467 (C)) were associated with AIDS-NHL (OR=2.7, 95% CI: 1.5–4.8, p=0.0009 and OR=3.2, 95% CI: 1.6–6.6 p=0.0008; respectively). These two haplotypes occur in strong linkage disequilibrium with each other on CEH 8.1. The CEH 8.1-specific haplotype association of MHC class III variants with AIDS-NHL closely resembles that observed for non-AIDS NHL. Corroboration of an MHC determinant of AIDS and non-AIDS NHL alike would imply an important pathogenetic mechanism common to both.
Human Leukocyte Antigen; HIV; CD4; Multicenter AIDS Cohort NHL Study
To estimate the net effect of imperfectly measured highly active antiretroviral therapy on incident acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or death, the authors combined inverse probability-of-treatment-and-censoring weighted estimation of a marginal structural Cox model with regression-calibration methods. Between 1995 and 2007, 950 human immunodeficiency virus–positive men and women were followed in 2 US cohort studies. During 4,054 person-years, 374 initiated highly active antiretroviral therapy, 211 developed acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or died, and 173 dropped out. Accounting for measured confounders and determinants of dropout, the weighted hazard ratio for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or death comparing use of highly active antiretroviral therapy in the prior 2 years with no therapy was 0.36 (95% confidence limits: 0.21, 0.61). This association was relatively constant over follow-up (P = 0.19) and stronger than crude or adjusted hazard ratios of 0.75 and 0.95, respectively. Accounting for measurement error in reported exposure using external validation data on 331 men and women provided a hazard ratio of 0.17, with bias shifted from the hazard ratio to the estimate of precision as seen by the 2.5-fold wider confidence limits (95% confidence limits: 0.06, 0.43). Marginal structural measurement-error models can simultaneously account for 3 major sources of bias in epidemiologic research: validated exposure measurement error, measured selection bias, and measured time-fixed and time-varying confounding.
acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; bias (epidemiology); cohort studies; confounding factors (epidemiology); epidemiologic measurements; HIV; pharmacoepidemiology; selection bias
Traditionally, case-control studies of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and prostate cancer have focused on gonorrhea and syphilis, with overall positive associations. More recently, researchers have begun to expand their focus to include additional STIs, such as Chlamydia trachomatis, human papillomavirus (HPV) and human herpesvirus type 8 (HHV-8) infections. Continuing this investigation, we examined each of these infections in relation to incident prostate cancer in a nested case-control study within the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Prostate cancer cases were men diagnosed with prostate cancer between the date of blood draw (1993–5) and 2000 (n=691). Controls were men free of cancer and alive at the time of case diagnosis who had had at least one prostate specific antigen test between the date of blood draw and case diagnosis. One control was individually matched to each case by age; year, time of day and season of blood draw; and PSA screening history prior to blood draw (n=691). C. trachomatis and HPV -16, -18 and -33 antibody serostatus were assessed by enzyme-based immunoassays, and HHV-8 antibody serostatus was assessed by an immunofluorescence assay. No associations were observed between C. trachomatis (OR=1.13, 95% CI: 0.65–1.96), HPV-16 (OR=0.83, 95% CI: 0.57–1.23), HPV-18 (OR=1.04, 95% CI: 0.66–1.64) and HPV-33 (OR=1.14, 95% CI: 0.76–1.72) antibody seropositivity and prostate cancer. A significant inverse association was observed between HHV-8 antibody seropositivity and prostate cancer (OR=0.70, 95% CI: 0.52–0.95). As this study is the first, to our knowledge, to observe such an inverse association, similar additional studies are warranted.
Prostate cancer; Chlamydia trachomatis; human papillomavirus; human herpesvirus type 8
Several epidemiologic studies have investigated sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and later risk of genitourinary conditions with suggestive positive results. While these results may reflect causal associations, other possible explanations include confounding by factors possibly related to both STI acquisition and genitourinary condition risk, such as recognized STI risk factors/correlates, and other factors not typically considered in relation to STIs (e.g., general health-related behaviors or markers of such behaviors). Very few of these factors have been investigated in older populations in which STIs and genitourinary conditions are typically studied. Therefore, we investigated STI history correlates in one such population, the Health Professionals Follow-up Study.
We ascertained histories of potential correlates, and gonorrhea and syphilis by questionnaire (n=36,032), and performed serologic testing for Chlamydia trachomatis, Trichomonas vaginalis, human papillomavirus, and human herpesvirus type 8 infection in a subset (n=651).
Positive correlations were observed for African-American race, foreign birth, southern residence, smoking, alcohol consumption, ejaculation frequency, vasectomy, and high cholesterol. Inverse correlations were observed for social integration and routine health-related examinations.
These findings provide useful information on potential confounders for epidemiologic investigations of STIs and chronic diseases, and interesting new hypotheses for STI prevention (e.g., STI counseling before vasectomy).
sexually transmitted diseases; epidemiology; confounding factor (epidemiology)
Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) is a severe neurological disorder due to JC virus (JCV) infection. Pre-diagnostic biological markers and risk factors for PML are not well understood. We conducted a case-control study nested within the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study to examine the association between JCV viruria and viremia and serum antibody to JCV capsids, in relation to subsequent PML diagnoses, 5 months to 12 years later. Other demographic and immunologic factors were examined also. The study population included 28 incident cases of PML, 26 matched HIV-positive controls, and 50 HIV-negative controls. Prevalence of JCV viruria was 37% in cases, 42% in HIV-positive controls, and 28% in HIV-negative controls (p = 0.43). Among persons with JCV viruria, persistent viruria was more common in cases (89%) than in HIV- positive controls (33%) (p = 0.02). Presence of JCV viruria was not related to the time to PML diagnosis (OR: 1.03, 95% CI: 0.8 – 1.4); however, the urinary concentration of JCV DNA increased with proximity to the date of PML diagnosis in cases. JCV seropositivity did not differ between cases or controls (p = 0.42). Four cases tested JCV seronegative, including one case only 5 months prior to diagnosis with PML. JCV DNA was detected in the serum of one HIV-positive control. Smoking was the only demographic variable analyzed associated with an increased risk for PML (MOR: 9.0, 95% CI: 1.2–394.5). The results suggest that persistent JCV viruria and increasing urinary concentration of JCV DNA may be predictive of PML for some patients.