Elevated Soluble CD14 and Lower D-Dimer Are Associated With Cigarette Smoking and Heavy Episodic Alcohol Use in Persons Living With HIV

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Persons living with HIV are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease in part because of persistent inflammation and coagulation activation.


We examined whether smoking and heavy episodic alcohol use (defined as 5 or more drinks on one occasion) were associated with greater monocyte activation (soluble CD14) and coagulation (D-dimer) in participants in the Study to Understand the Natural History of HIV and AIDS in the Era of Effective Therapy (the “SUN” Study), a prospective observational cohort.


Using regression analysis (n = 689), current smoking compared with nonsmoking was associated with significantly elevated soluble CD14 (B = 135.57, 95% confidence interval: 84.95 to 186.19, P < 0.001), whereas heavy alcohol use compared with nonheavy use was associated with significantly lower D-dimer levels (B = −0.059, 95% confidence interval: −0.102 to −0.016, P = 0.007).


Smoking cessation should be encouraged by HIV care providers to improve mortality outcomes from all causes of death, particularly cardiovascular disease.

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