African Mitochondrial DNA Haplogroup L2 Is Associated With Slower Decline of β-cell Function and Lower Incidence of Diabetes Mellitus in Non-Hispanic, Black Women Living With Human Immunodeficiency Virus

Clin Infect Dis. 2020 Nov 5;71(8):e218-e225. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciaa026.


Background: Susceptibility to metabolic diseases may be influenced by mitochondrial genetic variability among people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV; PLWH), but remains unexplored in populations with African ancestry. We investigated the association between mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroups and the homeostatic model assessments of β-cell function (HOMA-B) and insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), as well as incident diabetes mellitus (DM), among Black women living with or at risk for HIV.

Methods: Women without DM who had fasting glucose (FG) and insulin (FI) data for ≥2 visits were included. Haplogroups were inferred from genotyping data using HaploGrep. HOMA-B and HOMA-IR were calculated using FG and FI data. Incident DM was defined by a combination of FG ≥ 126 mg/dL, the use of DM medication, a DM diagnosis, or hemoglobin A1c ≥ 6.5%. We compared HOMA-B, HOMA-IR, and incident DM by haplogroups and assessed the associations between HOMA-B and HOMA-IR and DM by haplogroup.

Results: Of 1288 women (933 living with HIV and 355 living without HIV), PLWH had higher initial HOMA-B and HOMA-IR than people living without HIV. PLWH with haplogroup L2 had a slower decline in HOMA-B per year (Pinteraction = .02) and a lower risk of incident DM (hazard ratio [HR], 0.51; 95% confidence interval [CI], .32-.82) than PLWH with other haplogroups after adjustments for age, body mass index, combination antiretroviral therapy use, CD4 cell counts, and HIV RNA. The impact of HOMA-IR on incident DM was less significant in those with haplogroup L2, compared to non-L2 (HR, 1.28 [95% CI, .70-2.38] vs 4.13 [95% CI, 3.28-5.22], respectively; Pinteraction < .01), among PLWH.

Conclusions: Mitochondrial genetic variation is associated with β-cell functions and incident DM in non-Hispanic, Black women with HIV and alters the relationship between insulin resistance and DM.

Keywords: HIV; aging; diabetes mellitus; mitochondrial genetics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Black or African American
  • Blood Glucose
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics
  • Diabetes Mellitus*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / genetics
  • Female
  • HIV
  • HIV Infections* / complications
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Insulin Resistance* / genetics


  • Blood Glucose
  • DNA, Mitochondrial