Cystatin C Is Marker of Kidney Function in HIV Patients

Patients are nearly 10 times as likely as controls to have dangerous levels above 1.0 mg/L

FRIDAY, Nov. 16 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with HIV, cystatin C measurement may be a useful clinical tool to help identify those who have an elevated risk of developing kidney and cardiovascular disease, according to a study published in the Nov. 12 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Michelle C. Odden, of the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and colleagues studied 1,008 HIV-infected patients and 290 controls.

The researchers found HIV patients had significantly worse kidney function than controls and higher mean cystatin C levels (0.92 mg/L versus 0.76 mg/L). They also found that HIV patients were more likely to have levels above 1.0 mg/L, which is associated with an increased risk of death from kidney and cardiovascular disease (odds ratio, 9.8). High cystatin C levels in HIV patients were associated with potentially modifiable risk factors of kidney disease such as hypertension and a low level of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and also with a lower CD4 lymphocyte count and co-infection with hepatitis C.

"Future studies that use a direct measure of kidney function could help to define the optimal role of cystatin C for detecting reduced kidney function in HIV or other chronic infection," the authors write. "Early identification of kidney dysfunction may permit actions that prevent or reduce the risk of toxic effects from medication use, further renal complications, or cardiovascular outcomes."

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