Alcohol Consumption and HIV Disease Progression
October 9, 2007
The authors prospectively assessed the association between HIV patients' alcohol consumption and laboratory markers of HIV disease progression.
Between 1997 and 2003, 595 HIV patients with alcohol problems were recruited, and researchers assessed participants' CD4 cell counts, HIV RNA levels, and alcohol consumption for up to seven years. The relationship between disease markers and alcohol intake was analyzed using longitudinal regression models that controlled for known prognostic factors, such as adherence and depressive symptoms, and stratified by antiretroviral (ART) use.
Among subjects not taking ART, heavy alcohol use was associated with a lower CD4 cell count (adjusted mean decrease of 48.6 cells/microliter compared with abstinent subjects; P=0.03) but not with higher log10 HIV RNA. Among subjects taking ART, heavy alcohol consumption was not associated with a lower CD4 cell count or higher log10 HIV RNA.
"Heavy alcohol consumption has a negative impact on the CD4 cell count in HIV-infected persons not receiving ART," the authors concluded. "In addition to the known deleterious effects of alcohol on ART adherence, these findings suggest that avoiding heavy alcohol consumption in patients not on ART may have a beneficial effect on HIV disease progression."
Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
10.2007; Vol. 46; No. 2: P. 194-199; Jeffrey H. Samet, MD, MA, MPH; Debbie M. Cheng, ScD; Howard Libman, MD; David P. Nunes, MD; Julie K. Alperen, DrPH; Richard Saitz, MD, MPH