The effect of cigarette smoking on lymphocyte subsets and progression to AIDS in a cohort of homosexual men

Clin Invest Med. 1992 Aug;15(4):301-8.


We investigated the effect of cigarette smoking on the percentage of CD4 and CD8 cells (CD4%, CD8%) within a prospective study of homosexual men in Vancouver, Canada and compared progression rates to AIDS among seroincident smokers and non-smokers. Serial measurements of CD4% and CD8% obtained from four annual visits were available for 299 men and were compared with respect to smoking status and serologic group. CD4% was significantly elevated (p less than 0.025) and CD8% was significantly lower (p less than 0.002) in seronegative smokers compared to non-smokers. However, no effect of smoking was observed in the seropositive group for either of these variables. In a prospective analysis of 122 seroincident subjects, we failed to find a significant association between smoking and progression to AIDS (p = 0.829) or Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (p = 0.894). At 72 months, cumulative AIDS progression was 29.1% in seroincident smokers compared to 25.2% in seroincident non-smokers. These data suggest that in the absence of HIV, smoking is associated with higher CD4% and lower CD8% but these effects are not present in seropositive subjects with longer durations of infection. Cigarette smoking does not appear to be associated with an altered rate of progression to AIDS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / blood*
  • CD4-CD8 Ratio*
  • HIV Seropositivity
  • Homosexuality*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Smoking*
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / pathology*