GlycA: A Novel Biomarker for CVD Risk in People With HIV

HIV in blood
HIV in blood
GlycA levels are higher in men with HIV compared with men with do not have HIV.

Compared with men with do not have HIV, GlycA levels were higher in men with HIV, and correlated with other inflammatory and monocyte activation biomarker levels as well as other measures of subclinical coronary atherosclerosis, according to study findings published in AIDS.

Higher levels of GlycA have been independently associated with incident cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes mellitus, and hepatitis C infection, as well as all-cause mortality in the public at large. However, it remains unclear whether GlycA is associated with a greater risk for subclinical coronary atherosclerosis in people living with HIV. In this study, researchers investigated the associations between GlycA and subclinical coronary plaque in men with and without HIV who participated in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study.  The cohort included 935 eligible participants for assessment of GlycA with coronary artery calcium measurement; 715 men also underwent contrast coronary computed tomography angiography (CTA) to measure total plaque burden and composition and coronary stenosis.

In this cohort, GlycA levels were higher in men infected with HIV vs men who were not infected (397±68 vs 380±60 µmol/L, respectively; P =0.0001). Levels were also higher in men with HIV with a detectable viral load compared with men with HIV with an undetectable viral load (413±79 vs 393±65 µmol/L, respectively; P =0.004). After adjusting for confounders, including HIV serostatus and demographic and CVD risk factors, GlycA levels were directly associated with a higher prevalence of coronary artery calcium >0 (prevalence ratio 1.09; 95% CI, 1.03-1.15) and coronary stenosis ≥50% (prevalence ratio 1.20; 95% CI, 1.02-1.41).  When adjusted for the more traditional inflammatory biomarkers or by HIV serostatus, these associations did not significantly change.

“Our study suggests the potential use of GlycA in CVD risk stratification in HIV patients that is similar to HIV-uninfected persons, but further study is needed in this area,” the researchers concluded.

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Tibuakuu M, Fashanu OE, Zhao D, et al. GlycA, a novel inflammatory marker, is associated with subclinical coronary disease in the multicenter AIDS cohort study [published online November 19, 2018]. AIDS. doi:10.1097/QAD.0000000000002079