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1.  T-cell Activation, Both Pre- and Post-HAART Levels, Correlates with Carotid Artery Stiffness over 6.5 years among HIV-infected Women in the WIHS 
Objective
T-cell activation is a major pathway driving HIV disease progression. Little is known regarding the impact of T-cell activation on HIV-associated atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease, a common co-morbidity in HIV infection. We hypothesized that T-cell activation will predict vascular stiffness, a measure of subclinical atherosclerosis.
Design
Linear regression models evaluated the covariate-adjusted association of T-cell activation with vascular stiffness.
Methods
CD38 and HLA-DR expression on CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells was assessed by flow cytometry among 59 HIV-negative and 376 HIV-infected (185 hepatitis-C co-infected) women in the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS). T-cell activation was defined by CD8+CD38+DR+ and CD4+CD38+DR+. Multiple activation assessments over 6.5 years were averaged. In 140 women, T-cell activation was measured before and after HAART initiation. Carotid artery ultrasounds were completed a median of 6.5 years after last measurement of T- cell activation and carotid artery stiffness including distensibility and elasticity were calculated.
Results
Percentages of CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell activation were significantly higher in HIV- infected compared to HIV-negative women. Among HIV-negative women, T-cell activation was not associated with carotid artery stiffness. Among HIV-infected women, higher CD4+ T-cell activation significantly predicted increased arterial stiffness independent of CD4 cell count and HIV RNA. The association was stronger among HIV/HCV co-infected compared to HIV-mono- infected women; however, the difference was not statistically significant (p-for interaction>0.05). Pre- and post-HAART levels of CD4+ T-cell activation significantly predicted carotid artery stiffness.
Conclusions
Persistent T-cell activation, even after HAART initiation, can contribute to structural and/or functional vascular damage accelerating atherogenesis in HIV infection. These results need to be confirmed in a longitudinal prospective study.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0000000000000311
PMCID: PMC4197806  PMID: 25314253
T-cell activation; arterial stiffness; HIV-infection
2.  Macrophage inflammatory markers are associated with subclinical carotid artery disease in women with HIV or HCV infection 
Objective
Infection with hepatitis C (HCV) or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) may be associated with atherosclerosis and vascular disease. Macrophages are a major component of atherosclerotic plaque, and classically activated (M1) macrophages contribute to plaque instability. Our goal was to identify plasma biomarkers that reflect macrophage inflammation and are associated with subclinical atherosclerosis.
Approach and results
We tested whether M1 macrophages produce galectin-3 binding protein (Gal-3BP) in-vitro. Then we measured Gal-3BP and the soluble macrophage biomarkers sCD163 and sCD14 in 264 participants in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study. Women were positive for HIV, HCV, both, or neither (66 in each group, matched for age, race/ethnicity and smoking status). Carotid artery disease was assessed by ultrasound measurement of right distal common carotid artery intima-media thickness (cIMT), distensibility, and presence of atherosclerotic lesions (IMT>1.5 mm). Plasma Gal-3BP was higher in HCV+ than HCV− women (p<0.01), but did not differ by HIV status. The three inflammatory macrophage markers were significantly correlated with each other and negatively correlated with CD4+ counts in HIV-infected women. We defined a macrophage score as 1, 2 or 3 biomarkers elevated above the median. In models adjusted for traditional risk factors, higher macrophage scores were significantly associated with increased atherosclerotic lesions and lower carotid distensibility. Receiver-operator curve analysis of lesions revealed that the markers added predictive value beyond traditional risk factors and C-reactive protein.
Conclusions
The macrophage inflammatory markers Gal-3BP, sCD163 and sCD14 are significantly associated with carotid artery disease in the setting of HIV and HCV infection.
doi:10.1161/ATVBAHA.113.303153
PMCID: PMC4067091  PMID: 24651679
atherosclerosis; women; AIDS; immune system; risk factors
3.  RYR3 gene variants in subclinical atherosclerosis among HIV-infected women in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) 
Atherosclerosis  2014;233(2):666-672.
Background
Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the Ryanodine receptor 3 (RYR3) gene are associated with common carotid intima media thickness (CCA cIMT) in HIV-infected men. We evaluated SNPs in the RYR3 gene among HIV-infected women participating in Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS).
Methods
CCA cIMT was measured using B-mode ultrasound and the 838 SNPs in the RYR3 gene region were genotyped using the Illumina HumanOmni2.5-quad beadchip. The CCA cIMT genetic association was assessed using linear regression analyses among 1213 women and also separately among White (n=139), Black (n=720) and Hispanic (n=354) women after adjusting for confounders. A summary measure of pooled association was estimated using a meta-analytic approach by combining the effect estimates from the three races. Haploblocks were inferred using Gabriel’s method and haplotype association analyses were conducted among the three races separately.
Results
SNP rs62012610 was associated with CCA cIMT among the Hispanics (p=4.41× 10−5), rs11856930 among Whites (p=5.62× 10−4), and rs2572204 among Blacks (p=2.45× 10−3). Meta-analysis revealed several associations of SNPs in the same direction and of similar magnitude, particularly among Blacks and Hispanics. Additionally, several haplotypes within three haploblocks containing SNPs previously related with CCA cIMT were also associated in Whites and Hispanics.
Discussion
Consistent with previous research among HIV-infected men, SNPs within the RYR3 region were associated with subclinical atherosclerosis among HIV-infected women. Allelic heterogeneity observed across the three races suggests that the contribution of the RYR3 gene to CCA cIMT is complex, and warrants future studies to better understand regional SNP function.
doi:10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2014.01.035
PMCID: PMC3965606  PMID: 24561552
RYR3; single nucleotide polymorphisms; HIV infection; CCA; cIMT; subclinical atherosclerosis
4.  Treatment-related changes in serum lipids and inflammation: clinical relevance remains unclear. Analyses from the Women's Interagency HIV Study 
AIDS (London, England)  2013;27(9):1516-1519.
Summary
Among 127 HIV-infected women, the magnitude of HDLc increases after HAART initiation predicted the magnitude of concurrent decreases in inflammation biomarkers. After HAART initiation, changes in LDLc and inflammation were unrelated. In the same population, predicted risk of coronary heart disease based upon levels of standard clinical risk factors was similar before and after HAART treatment. Thus, it remains unknown whether short-term treatment-related changes in standard risk factors may appreciably change risk of CVD.
doi:10.1097/QAD.0b013e32835fd8a9
PMCID: PMC3909663  PMID: 23435295
lipids; HAART; HIV infection; inflammation
5.  Association of subclinical atherosclerosis with lipid levels amongst antiretroviral-treated and untreated HIV-infected women in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study 
Atherosclerosis  2012;225(2):408-411.
Objective
We examined serum lipids in association with carotid artery intima-media thickness (CIMT) in HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected women.
Methods
In 2003–4, among 1827 Women’s Interagency HIV Study participants, we measured CIMT and lipids (high-density lipoprotein cholesterol [HDL-c], low-density lipoprotein cholesterol [LDL-c], total cholesterol [TC], non-HDL-c). A subset of 520 treated HIV-infected women had pre-1997 lipid measures. We used multivariable linear regression to examine associations between lipids and CIMT.
Results
In HIV-uninfected women, higher TC, LDL-c and non-HDL-c were associated with increased CIMT. Among HIV-infected women, associations of lipids with CIMT were observed in treated but not untreated women. Among the HIV-infected women treated in 2003–4, CIMT was associated both with lipids measured a decade earlier in infection, and with late lipid measurements.
Conclusion
Among HIV-infected women, hyperlipidemia is most strongly associated with subclinical atherosclerosis in treated women. Among treated women, the association appeared strongest early in the disease course.
doi:10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2012.09.035
PMCID: PMC3696584  PMID: 23089369
cardiovascular diseases; carotid arteries; HAART; HIV; lipids
6.  Potential cardiovascular disease risk markers among HIV-infected women initiating antiretroviral treatment 
Background
Inflammation and hemostasis perturbation may be involved in vascular complications of HIV infection. We examined atherogenic biomarkers and subclinical atherosclerosis in HIV-infected adults before and after beginning highly-active antiretroviral therapy (HAART).
Methods
In the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS), 127 HIV-infected women studied pre- and post-HAART were matched to HIV-uninfected controls. Six semi-annual measurements of soluble CD14, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, soluble interleukin (IL)-2 receptor, IL-6, IL-10, monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1, D-dimer, and fibrinogen were obtained. Carotid artery intima-media thickness (CIMT) was measured by B-mode ultrasound.
Results
Relative to HIV-uninfected controls, HAART-naïve HIV-infected women had elevated levels of soluble CD14 (1945 vs 1662 ng/mL, Wilcoxon signed rank P<0.0001), TNF-alpha (6.3 vs 3.4 pg/mL, P<0.0001), soluble IL-2 receptor (1587 vs 949 pg/mL, P<0.0001), IL-10 (3.3 vs 1.9 pg/mL, P<0.0001), MCP-1 (190 vs 163 pg/mL, P<0.0001) and D-dimer (0.43 vs 0.31 µg/mL, P<0.01). Elevated biomarker levels declined after HAART. While most biomarkers normalized to HIV-uninfected levels, in women on effective HAART, TNF-alpha levels remained elevated compared to HIV-uninfected women (+0.8 pg/mL, P=0.0002). Higher post-HAART levels of soluble IL-2 receptor (P=0.02), IL-6 (P=0.05), and D-dimer (P=0.03) were associated with increased CIMT.
Conclusions
Untreated HIV infection is associated with abnormal hemostasis (e.g., D-dimer), and pro-atherogenic (e.g., TNF-alpha) and anti-atherogenic (e.g., IL-10) inflammatory markers. HAART reduces most inflammatory mediators to HIV-uninfected levels. Increased inflammation and hemostasis are associated with subclinical atherosclerosis in recently treated women. These findings have potential implications for long-term risk of cardiovascular disease in HIV-infected patients, even with effective therapy.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0b013e31825b03be
PMCID: PMC3400505  PMID: 22592585
antiretroviral therapy; cardiovascular diseases; cytokines; hemostasis; HIV; inflammation
7.  CHRONIC DEPRESSIVE SYMPTOMS AND FRAMINGHAM CORONARY RISK IN HIV- INFECTED AND UNINFECTED WOMEN 
AIDS Care  2011;24(3):394-403.
Depression is common in people with cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and those with HIV, and is a risk factor for CVD-related mortality. However, little is known about whether HIV influences the relationship between depression and cardiovascular risk. 526 HIV-infected and 132 uninfected women from the Women’s Interagency HIV Study were included in an analysis of women who completed twice-yearly study visits over 9.5 years. CVD risk was calculated at baseline and approximately 9.5 years later using the Framingham Risk Score (FRS). Chronic depressive symptoms were defined as Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale scores of 16 or greater at ≥75% of study visits. Over the follow-up period, 22.8% of HIV-infected women and 15.9% of HIV-uninfected women had chronic depressive symptoms (p=0.08). Baseline FRS were similar between HIV infected and uninfected women (M=−5.70±SE=0.30 vs. M=−6.90± SE=0.60, p=0.07) as was follow-up FRS (M=0.82±SE=0.30 vs. M=−0.44± SE=0.73, p=0.11). Among HIV-infected and uninfected women, together, follow-up FRS were higher among women with chronic depressive symptoms as compared to those without (M=1.3± SE=0.6 vs. M=−0.3± SE=0.40, p<0.01), after adjusting for baseline FRS and other covariates. HIV status did not modify the relationship between chronic depressive symptoms and FRS. Chronic depressive symptoms accelerated CVD risk scores to a similar extent in both HIV infected and uninfected women. This implies that the diagnosis and treatment of depression may be an important consideration in CV risk reduction in the setting of HIV-infection. The determination of factors that mediate the depression/CVD relationship merits further study.
doi:10.1080/09540121.2011.608791
PMCID: PMC3243818  PMID: 21902560
8.  Effects of hepatitis C and HIV on cognition in women: Data from the Women’s Interagency HIV Study 
Objective
To compare neuropsychological scores in women infected with HIV, women infected with both HIV and hepatitis C, and uninfected subjects.
Background
Some, but not all, studies have demonstrated that dual infection with HCV and HIV has worse effects on cognition than infection with HIV alone.
Design/Methods
The Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) is an ongoing prospective study of the natural history of HIV in women where participants are reevaluated every 6 months. In a cross-sectional analysis, we evaluated the effects of active HIV and HCV-infections on scores on symbol-digit test (SDMT), the Stroop interference test, and trails A and B after controlling for age, ethnicity, education, depression, liver disease, and current or past substance abuse.
Results
Data were available for 1338 women – 17.8 % had detectable hepatitis C virus and 67% were HIV-seropositive. In fully adjusted general linear models, HCV viremia was not associated with scores on any of the cognitive tests.
Conclusion
In this large sample of women, active HCV infection was not associated with scores on a small battery of neuropsychological tests.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0b013e318240566b
PMCID: PMC3319079  PMID: 22107817
Hepatitis C; HIV; neurocognition; women
9.  A C17T polymorphism in the mu opiate receptor is associated with quantitative measures of drug use in African-American women 
Addiction biology  2010;17(1):181-191.
Previous studies of the association of the C17T polymorphism of the mu opiate receptor gene with substance dependence compared cases with substance dependence to controls and usually found no significant association. However, the studies were limited by small sample size - no study had more than 12 subjects with the TT genotype, a genotype that is rare in white and Asian subjects. Moreover, drug use is not dichotomous but follows a spectrum from non-use to modest, intermittent use, to use several times daily. We asked whether the Kreek-McHugh-Schluger-Kellogg (KMSK) scales for alcohol, cocaine, opiates, and tobacco that quantify substance use during the time of a subject's maximal use might be more sensitive measures than dichotomous outcomes. We administered the KMSK scales and completed C17T genotyping on 1009 HIV-infected and 469 HIV-uninfected women in The Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS), an ongoing study of HIV in women. Forty-two of 697 African-American, 1 of 182 Hispanic, and none of 161 white women had the TT genotype. KMSK cocaine, alcohol, and tobacco scores were significantly higher in African-American women with the TT genotype (p =0.008, 0.0001, and 0.006 respectively) but opiate scores were not. Ordinal regression models controlling for HIV-serostatus, age, education, and income had odds ratios for the TT genotype for predicting alcohol, tobacco, cocaine, and opiates scores of 2.1 (p = 0.02), 2.4 (p = 0.0004), 2.0 (p = 0.03), and 1.9 (p = 0.07). We conclude that the TT genotype of OPRM1 may increase the risk of substance use and abuse.
doi:10.1111/j.1369-1600.2010.00265.x
PMCID: PMC3117061  PMID: 21070507
C17T polymorphism; HIV; mu opioid receptor gene; quantitative measures; substance abuse; substance dependence
10.  Associations of cardiovascular variables and HAART with cognition in middle-aged HIV-infected and uninfected women 
Journal of neurovirology  2011;17(5):469-476.
Despite use of HAART, cognitive impairment remains prevalent in HIV. Indeed, a recent study suggested that in certain instances, stopping HAART was associated with improved cognitive function (Robertson et al. 2010). HAART is occasionally associated with cardiovascular pathology and such pathology may be associated with cognitive impairment. To explore these associations, we assessed the relative contributions of cardiovascular variables such as hypertension and atherosclerosis, of HIV and HAART to cognition. Participants were members of the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS). In analysis of cross-sectional data using general linear models we assessed the relationship between each cardiovascular variable and Stroop interference time and symbol digit modalities test while adjusting for age, HIV, education, depression, and race/ethnicity. We also analyzed the association of summary measures of HAART use with cognition. In multivariate models significance was limited to carotid lesions and carotid intima-medial thickness quintile (CIMT) with Stroop interference time (for carotid lesions, coefficient = 10.5, CI: 3.5 to 17.5, p = 0.003, N = 1130; for CIMT quintile, coefficient = 8.6, CI = 1.7 to 15.4, p = 0.025, N = 1130). Summary measures of protease inhibitor use and other HAART measures were in most cases not associated with cognitive score in multivariate models. We conclude that in the HAART era among middle-aged women with HIV, carotid disease may be significantly associated with some measures of cognitive impairment. In this cross-sectional study, we could detect neither positive nor negative effects of HAART on cognition.
doi:10.1007/s13365-011-0052-3
PMCID: PMC3509940  PMID: 22006469
Cognition; HIV; Women; Hypertension; Atherosclerosis; Middle-Aged
11.  PRE-EXISTING ALBUMINURIA PREDICTS AIDS AND NON-AIDS MORTALITY IN WOMEN INITIATING ANTIRETROVIRAL THERAPY 
Antiviral therapy  2011;16(4):591-596.
Background
We previously reported an increased risk of all-cause and AIDS mortality among HIV-infected women with albuminuria (proteinuria or microalbuminuria) enrolled in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) prior to the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART).
Methods
The current analysis includes 1,073 WIHS participants who subsequently initiated HAART. Urinalysis for proteinuria and semi-quantitative testing for microalbuminuria from two consecutive study visits prior to HAART initiation were categorized as follows: confirmed proteinuria (both specimens positive for protein), confirmed microalbuminuria (both specimens positive with at least one microalbuminuria), unconfirmed albuminuria (one specimen positive for proteinuria or microalbuminuria), or negative (both specimens negative). Time from HAART initiation to death was modeled using proportional hazards analysis.
Results
Compared to the reference group of women with two negative specimens, the hazard ratio (HR) for all-cause mortality was significantly elevated for women with confirmed microalbuminuria (HR 1.9; 95% CI 1.2–2.9). Confirmed microalbuminuria was also independently associated with AIDS death (HR 2.3; 95% CI 1.3–4.3), while women with confirmed proteinuria were at increased risk for non-AIDS death (HR 2.4; 95% CI 1.2–4.6).
Conclusions
In women initiating HAART, pre-existing microalbuminuria independently predicted increased AIDS mortality, while pre-existing proteinuria predicted increased risk of non-AIDS death. Urine testing may identify HIV-infected individuals at increased risk for mortality even after the initiation of HAART. Future studies should consider whether these widely available tests can identify individuals who would benefit from more aggressive management of HIV infection and comorbid conditions associated with mortality in this population.
doi:10.3851/IMP1766
PMCID: PMC3119869  PMID: 21685547
HIV; microalbuminuria; proteinuria; mortality; non-AIDS death
12.  MICROALBUMINURIA IS ASSOCIATED WITH ALL-CAUSE AND AIDS MORTALITY IN WOMEN WITH HIV INFECTION 
Prevalence of microalbuminuria is increased in patients with HIV. Microalbuminuria is associated with increased mortality in other populations, including diabetics, for whom microalbuminuria testing is standard of care. We investigated whether microalbuminuria is associated with mortality in HIV-infected women not receiving antiretroviral therapy.
Methods
Urinalysis for proteinuria and semi-quantitative testing for microalbuminuria were performed in specimens from two consecutive visits in 1,547 HIV-infected women enrolled in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study in 1994–1995. Time to death was modeled using proportional hazards analysis.
Results
Compared to women without albuminuria, the hazard ratio (HR) for all-cause mortality was increased in women with one (HR 3.4; 95% CI 2.2–5.2) or two specimens positive for either proteinuria or microalbuminuria (HR 3.9; 95% CI 2.1–7.0). The highest risk was observed in women with both specimens positive for proteinuria (HR 5.8; 95% CI 3.4–9.8). The association between albuminuria and all-cause mortality risk remained significant after adjustment for demographics, HIV disease severity, and related comorbidities. Similar results were obtained for AIDS death.
Conclusions
We identified a graded relationship between albuminuria and the risk of all-cause and AIDS mortality.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0b013e3181cc1070
PMCID: PMC2888617  PMID: 20098331
HIV; microalbuminuria; proteinuria; mortality
13.  Lipoprotein levels and cardiovascular risk in HIV-infected and uninfected Rwandan women 
Background
Lipoprotein profiles in HIV-infected African women have not been well described. We assessed associations of lipoprotein levels and cardiovascular risk with HIV-infection and CD4 count in Rwandan women.
Methods
Cross-sectional study of 824 (218 HIV-negative, 606 HIV+) Rwandan women. Body composition by body impedance analysis, CD4 count, and fasting serum total cholesterol (total-C), triglycerides (TG) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels were measured. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) was calculated from Friedewald equation if TG < 400 and measured directly if TG ≥ 400 mg/dl.
Results
BMI was similar in HIV+ and -negative women, < 1% were diabetic, and HIV+ women were younger. In multivariate models LDL was not associated with HIV-serostatus. HDL was lower in HIV+ women (44 vs. 54 mg/dL, p < 0.0001) with no significant difference by CD4 count (p = 0.13). HIV serostatus (p = 0.005) and among HIV+ women lower CD4 count (p = 0.04) were associated with higher TG. BMI was independently associated with higher LDL (p = 0.01), and higher total body fat was strongly associated with higher total-C and LDL. Framingham risk scores were < 2% in both groups.
Conclusions
In this cohort of non-obese African women HDL and TG, but not LDL, were adversely associated with HIV infection. As HDL is a strong predictor of cardiovascular (CV) events in women, this HIV-associated difference may confer increased risk for CV disease in HIV-infected women.
doi:10.1186/1742-6405-7-34
PMCID: PMC2940781  PMID: 20796311
14.  Low CD4+ T cell count as a major atherosclerosis risk factor in HIV-infected women and men 
AIDS (London, England)  2008;22(13):1615-1624.
Objective
To assess the association of HIV infection, HIV disease parameters (including CD4+ T-cell counts, HIV viral load, and AIDS) and antiretroviral medication use with subclinical carotid artery atherosclerosis.
Design
Cross-sectional study nested within a prospective cohort study
Methods
Among participants in the Women's Interagency HIV Study (1,331 HIV-infected women, 534 HIV-uninfected women) and Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (600 HIV-infected men, 325 HIV-uninfected men), we measured subclinical carotid artery lesions and common carotid artery intima-media thickness (CIMT) using B-mode ultrasound. We estimated adjusted mean CIMT differences and prevalence ratios (PRs) for carotid lesions associated with HIV-related disease and treatments, with multivariate adjustment to control for possible confounding variables.
Results
Among HIV-infected individuals, a low CD4+ T cell count was independently associated with an increased prevalence of carotid lesions. Compared to the reference group of HIV-uninfected individuals, the adjusted PR for lesions among HIV-infected individuals with CD4+ T-cell count <200 cells/mm3 was 2.00 (95% confidence interval 1.22, 3.28) in women and 1.74 (95% confidence interval 1.04, 2.93) in men. No consistent association of antiretroviral medications with carotid atherosclerosis was observed, except for a borderline significant association between protease inhibitor use and carotid lesions in men (with no association among women). History of clinical AIDS and HIV viral load were not significantly associated with carotid atherosclerosis.
Conclusions
Beyond traditional cardiovascular disease risk factors, low CD4+ T-cell count is the most robust risk factor for increased subclinical carotid atherosclerosis in HIV-infected women and men.
doi:10.1097/QAD.0b013e328300581d
PMCID: PMC2624572  PMID: 18670221

Results 1-14 (14)