C-Reactive Protein a Marker for HIV Progression

Higher CRP levels associated with shorter time to the development of AIDS

MONDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- C-reactive protein (CRP) levels are associated with the progression of HIV infection, according to study findings published in the Jan. 9 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Bryan Lau, Ph.D., of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Md., and colleagues obtained a single measurement of CRP from 513 HIV-infected men in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study. Using specimens collected from October 1984 through December 1996, the researchers estimated changes in CRP during the course of HIV infection in 81 of the men.

CRP levels of more than 2.3 mg/L were associated with a shorter time to the development of AIDS compared with men with CRP levels of 1.2 mg/L or less, the researchers found. Levels of CRP increased significantly over time, with mean slopes of 8.5% and 4.5% per year for men with and without progression to AIDS, respectively.

"Levels of CRP were associated with HIV disease progression independent of CD4 lymphocyte counts and HIV RNA levels," the authors write. "In addition, regardless of progression to AIDS, HIV-infected individuals had a significant increase in CRP over time. This may have implications for cardiovascular disease among HIV-infected individuals."

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