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1.  Higher serum iron is associated with increased oxidant stress in HIV-infected men 
Journal of acquired immune deficiency syndromes (1999)  2013;64(4):10.1097/QAI.0b013e3182a60f36.
F2-isoprostanes (F2-IsoP) are oxidant stress biomarkers that are higher in HIV-infected women than men. We explored whether the effect of hemoglobin (Hgb), serum iron, or anemia on F2-IsoP is different between HIV-infected women and men.
Plasma F2-IsoP were quantified by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry; clinical and laboratory data were collected at enrollment or from the medical record. Multivariable linear regression was used to assess associations between F2-IsoP and Hgb, anemia as a dichotomous variable, and serum iron with adjustment for age, sex, race, body-mass index, CD4+ lymphocyte count, self-reported current smoking status, and antiretroviral therapy.
Compared to men, women had lower Hgb (median [IQR] 12.7 [11.8-13.9] vs. 14.9 [13.7-15.8] g/dL, P<0.001), lower iron levels (75 [47-97] vs. 90 [69-121] μg/dL, P=0.004), more anemia (29% vs. 10%, P<0.001), and higher levels of F2-IsoP (42 [32-62] vs. 36 [25-46] pg/mL, P<0.001). The relationship between iron and F2-IsoP differed significantly between men and women (interaction P=0.02). Men had a 21% (95% CI: 8%-36%) increase in F2-IsoP per interquartile increase in iron (P=0.001); while no relationship was seen among women (-4% [-17%-13%], P=0.65).
Although women have overall higher F2-IsoP than men, a relationship between circulating F2-IsoP and iron levels was observed in men but not in women with HIV infection. The association between female sex and higher F2-IsoP is not explained by iron or Hgb levels as the association persists when controlling for these factors. The role of iron in oxidant stress and sex-specific differences among HIV-infected individuals require further study.
PMCID: PMC3816092  PMID: 24169121
HIV; isoprostanes; iron; hemoglobin
2.  Hemoglobin May Contribute to Sex Differences in Mortality among HIV-Infected Persons in Care 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(9):e44999.
Some retrospective studies have found that HIV-infected women have a higher mortality risk than men after adjusting for baseline characteristics, while others have not. Anemia is a known predictor of HIV-related mortality. We assessed whether anemia contributed to the sex difference in mortality in our cohort.
We conducted a retrospective cohort study among HIV-infected persons in care at the Comprehensive Care Center (Nashville, TN) between 1998 and 2009. Cox proportional hazards models compared time from first clinic visit to death and AIDS-defining events (ADE), adjusted for baseline characteristics with and without baseline hemoglobin.
Of 3,633 persons, 879 (24%) were women. Women had lower median baseline hemoglobin compared to men: 12.4 g/dL (inter-quartile range (IQR) 11.3–13.4) vs. 14.4 (IQR 13.1–15.5), respectively (P<0.001). In multivariable models without hemoglobin, the risk of death was higher among women: hazard ratio (HR) 1.46 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.17, 1.82; P = 0.001). In multivariable models with hemoglobin, the risk of death in women was diminished and no longer statistically significant: HR 1.2 (95% CI 0.93, 1.55; P = 0.17). The risk of ADE was higher among women in both models, but not statistically significant: HR 1.1 (95% CI 0.85–1.42; P = 0.46) in the model without hemoglobin and 1.11 (95% CI 0.82–1.48; P = 0.50) in the model with hemoglobin. Hemoglobin was a strong predictor of death: HR 0.88 per 1 g/dL increase (95% CI 0.83, 0.93; P<0.001).
In our study population of HIV-infected persons in care, women had lower baseline hemoglobin, and lower hemoglobin contributed to their higher risk of ADE and death.
PMCID: PMC3441736  PMID: 23028732
3.  Postpartum Discontinuation of Antiretroviral Therapy and Risk of Maternal AIDS-Defining Events, Non-AIDS–Defining Events, and Mortality Among a Cohort of HIV-1–Infected Women in the United States 
AIDS Patient Care and STDs  2010;24(5):279-286.
This retrospective cohort study of HIV-infected women receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) while pregnant assessed the effect of postpartum HAART discontinuation on maternal AIDS-defining events (ADEs), non-AIDS–defining events (non-ADEs), and death 1997–2008 in Nashville, Tennessee. Cox proportional hazards models compared rates of ADE or all-cause death and non-ADE or all-cause death, and competing risks analyses compared rates of ADE or ADE-related death and non-ADE or non-ADE–related death across the groups. There were two groups: women who stopped HAART postpartum (discontinuation, n = 54) and women who continued HAART postpartum (continuation, n = 69). Fifty percent were African American, 40% had prior non-HAART antiretroviral therapy (ART) use, and 38% had a history of illicit drug use. Median age was 27.5 years, baseline CD4(%) was 532 (34%) and CD4 nadir was 332 cells/mm3, baseline and peak HIV-1 RNA were 2.6 and 4.32 log10 copies per milliliter, respectively. Women in the continuation group were older, had lower baseline CD4, CD4%, and CD4 nadir, and had higher peak HIV-1 RNA. In multivariable proportional hazards models, the hazard ratios [95% confidence interval (CI)] of ADE or all-cause death and non-ADE or all-cause death were lower in the continuation group, but not statistically significantly: 0.50 (0.12, 2.12; p = 0.35) and 0.69 (0.24, 1.95; p = 0.48), respectively. The results were similar in competing risks analyses. Despite having characteristics associated with worse prognosis, women who continued HAART postpartum had lower hazard ratio point estimates for ADEs or death and non-ADEs or death than women who discontinued HAART. Larger studies with longer follow-up are indicated to assess this association.
PMCID: PMC2875979  PMID: 20438375
4.  Antiretroviral Therapy Initiation Before, During, or After Pregnancy in HIV-1-Infected Women: Maternal Virologic, Immunologic, and Clinical Response 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(9):e6961.
Pregnancy has been associated with a decreased risk of HIV disease progression in the highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) era. The effect of timing of HAART initiation relative to pregnancy on maternal virologic, immunologic and clinical outcomes has not been assessed.
We conducted a retrospective cohort study from 1997–2005 among 112 pregnant HIV-infected women who started HAART before (N = 12), during (N = 70) or after pregnancy (N = 30).
Women initiating HAART before pregnancy had lower CD4+ nadir and higher baseline HIV-1 RNA. Women initiating HAART after pregnancy were more likely to receive triple-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors. Multivariable analyses adjusted for baseline CD4+ lymphocytes, baseline HIV-1 RNA, age, race, CD4+ lymphocyte count nadir, history of ADE, prior use of non-HAART ART, type of HAART regimen, prior pregnancies, and date of HAART start. In these models, women initiating HAART during pregnancy had better 6-month HIV-1 RNA and CD4+ changes than those initiating HAART after pregnancy (−0.35 vs. 0.10 log10 copies/mL, P = 0.03 and 183.8 vs. −70.8 cells/mm3, P = 0.03, respectively) but similar to those initiating HAART before pregnancy (−0.32 log10 copies/mL, P = 0.96 and 155.8 cells/mm3, P = 0.81, respectively). There were 3 (25%) AIDS-defining events or deaths in women initiating HAART before pregnancy, 3 (4%) in those initiating HAART during pregnancy, and 5 (17%) in those initiating after pregnancy (P = 0.01). There were no statistical differences in rates of HIV disease progression between groups.
HAART initiation during pregnancy was associated with better immunologic and virologic responses than initiation after pregnancy.
PMCID: PMC2734183  PMID: 19742315

Results 1-4 (4)