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 naïve 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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health Policy
- Infectious Diseases
- Pharmacology (medical)
- high-sensitivity C-reactive protein