To evaluate C-reactive protein (CRP) as a predictor of HIV-related outcomes among women and children in a resource-poor setting.Design:
We measured serum CRP concentration among 606 HIV-infected women, all of whom were not taking highly-active antiretroviral therapy, 3 to 11 months after they gave birth, and assessed relationships of CRP to HIV-related endpoints, including maternal disease progression, mother-to-child transmission of HIV, and maternal and child mortality.Methods:
We used Cox proportional hazards and regression models adjusted for age, sociodemographic characteristics, anthropometric measurements, hemoglobin, CD4 cell count, HIV viral load, and, for child outcomes, breastfeeding status.Results:
Ninety-four women had a high CRP concentration (> 10 mg/l). During the follow-up, 56 women progressed to WHO stage 4 and 188 died, and a high maternal CRP concentration was associated with a 2.26-fold [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.64–3.12] greater risk of progression to stage 4 or death. Among children, 174 acquired HIV and 116 died by age 2 years, and a high maternal CRP concentration was associated with a 3.03-fold (95% CI, 1.85–4.96) greater risk of child mortality. In multivariate analyses among adults, a high maternal CRP concentration was associated with a 1.55-fold (95% CI, 1.08–2.23) greater risk of progression to stage 4 or death. A maternal CRP concentration was not significantly associated with mother-to-child transmission of HIV.Conclusions:
A high maternal CRP concentration independently predicts HIV disease progression, maternal mortality, and child mortality in a resource-poor setting. C-reactive protein may be an important and inexpensive prognostic indicator for HIV-infected women and their children.