Objective: Inflammatory biomarkers associated with cardiovascular disease are elevated in HIV-infected persons. These biomarkers improve with antiretroviral therapy (ART) but do not normalize to values observed in HIV-uninfected adults. Little is known regarding biomarkers of inflammation in HIV-infected Peruvians, in whom an increased burden of infectious diseases may exacerbate inflammation, and women, in whom sex difference may alter inflammation compared with men. Methods: Peruvians initiating first-line ART were enrolled in a prospective observational study. Individuals with suppression of HIV RNA plasma loads to less than 30 copies/ml when determined quarterly over 24 months of ART, had biomarkers of inflammation and cellular activation measured pre-ART and at 24-months of ART, and evaluated for associations with sex and clinical parameters. Results: Pre-ART high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) values of men were in the high-risk cardiovascular disease category (>3.0 mg/l) more frequently compared with women (P=0.02); most women's values were in the low/average-risk categories. At 24 months of suppressive ART, hsCRP concentrations decreased in men (P=0.03), but tended to increase in women, such that the proportion with high-risk hsCRP did not differ by sex. Pre-ART, soluble CD163 concentrations were higher in women compared with men (P=0.02), and remained higher after 24 months of suppressive ART (P=0.02). All other inflammatory biomarkers (P<0.03) decreased across sexes. Biomarker concentrations were not associated with BMI or coinfections. Conclusion: Elevated inflammatory biomarkers persisted despite 24 months of suppressive ART in a subset of Peruvians, and to a greater extent in women compared with men. These findings suggest that lifestyle or pharmacologic interventions may be required to optimize the health of HIV-infected Peruvians, particularly women.
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