CD4/CD8 ratio a predictor of heart disease in HIV-infected patients
The ratio of CD4 to CD8 T cells in the blood-a marker of immune system health and associated with mortality risk in the general population-is an independent predictor of coronary heart disease in HIV-infected patients, according to a new study published in AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses.
The article "The CD4/CD8 Ratio is Inversely Associated with Carotid Intima-Media Thickness Progression in Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Infected Patients on Antiretroviral Treatment demonstrates an inverse correlation between the CD4/CD8 ratio (<1) and progression of carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT), a marker of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease.
Coauthors Enrique Bernal Morell, José Serrano Cabeza, Ángeles Muñoz, Irene Marín, and Alfredo Cano, Hospital General Universitario Reina Sofia de Murcia, and Mar Masía and Félix Gutiérrez, Hospital General Universitario de Elche, Spain, present the results of the 3-year study that evaluated virally suppressed HIV-infected patients receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART). The researchers measured patients' CD4/CD8 ratio, assessed their cardiovascular risk factors, and determined the degree of subclinical atherosclerosis using cIMT at the beginning of the study and after 3 years.
"The biomarker identified here will allow physicians to identify HIV infected individuals at highest risk to develop atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease early and offer appropriate interventions," says Thomas Hope, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses and Professor of Cell and Molecular Biology at Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine (Chicago, IL). "This work is critical because aging populations of HIV-infected individuals utilizing effective drug therapy to inhibit HIV are at increased risk for developing heath issues normally observed in much older individuals."