Objective: To determine the association of inflammatory markers, fibrinogen, and C-reactive protein (CRP), with 5-year mortality risk.
Methods: Vital status was ascertained in 922 HIV-infected participants from the Study of Fat Redistribution and Metabolic Change in HIV infection. Multivariable logistic regression estimated odds ratios after adjustment for demographic, cardiovascular, and HIV-related factors.
Results: Over a 5-year period, HIV-infected participants with fibrinogen levels in the highest tertile (>406 mg/dL) had 2.6-fold higher adjusted odds of death than those with fibrinogen in the lowest tertile (<319 mg/dL). Those with high CRP (>3 mg/L) had 2.7-fold higher adjusted odds of death than those with CRP <1 mg/L. When stratified by CD4 count category, fibrinogen (as a linear variable) remained independently associated [odds ratio (95% confidence intervals)] per 100 mg/dL increase in fibrinogen: 1.93 (1.57 to 2.37); 1.43 (1.14 to 1.79); 1.43 (1.14 to 1.81); and 1.30 (1.04 to 1.63) for CD4 <200, 200-350, >350 to 500, and >500 cells per microliter, respectively. Higher CRP also remained associated with higher odds of death overall and within each CD4 subgroup.
Conclusions: Fibrinogen and CRP are strong and independent predictors of mortality in HIV-infected adults. Our findings suggest that even in those with relatively preserved CD4 counts >500 cells per microliter, inflammation remains an important risk factor for mortality. Further investigation should determine whether interventions to reduce inflammation might decrease mortality risk in HIV-infected individuals.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00331448.