NYMC Faculty Publications


Longitudinal Evaluation of Markers of Inflammation in HIV-Positive and HIV-Negative Rwandan Women

Document Type


Publication Date

November 2018


Epidemiology and Community Health


OBJECTIVES: African women are disproportionately affected by HIV infection and may experience non-AIDS-related complications associated with inflammation. High-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), d-dimer and transthyretin have been examined as inflammatory markers elsewhere, but it is unclear how they change over time in HIV-negative or HIV-positive African women with or without antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation. METHODS: We examined hsCRP, d-dimer and transthyretin levels at baseline and at follow-up of >/=2 years in 185 HIV-negative and 510 HIV-positive Rwandan women who were ART naive at study entry. Generalized estimating equations for each marker were used to investigate the association with HIV infection/CD4 count, ART and follow-up time. RESULTS: Compared with HIV-negative women, HIV-positive women had higher hsCRP and d-dimer and lower transthyretin concentrations, with greater differences at lower CD4 counts. After adjusting for CD4 count and other factors, ART was not significantly associated with log hsCRP (P = 0.36) at follow-up, but was independently associated with lower log d-dimer (P = 0.03) and higher transthyretin (P = 0.0008) concentrations. At >/= 2 years of follow-up, hsCRP had not significantly changed in any group but log d-dimer had decreased significantly in all groups. Transthyretin declined significantly over time in HIV-negative women and HIV-positive non-ART initiators, but increased significantly in HIV-positive ART initiators. CONCLUSIONS: HIV infection and advanced immune suppression were associated with higher hsCRP and d-dimer and lower transthyretin concentrations. ART (independently of CD4 changes) was significantly associated with decreases in d-dimer and increases in transthyretin, but, in contrast to other studies, was not associated with decreases in hsCRP. We found no change in hsCRP over time in any group.