Aims: Alcohol is hypothesized to have effects on the kynurenine pathway of tryptophan catabolism, a potential mechanism for alcohol-induced depression and aggression. A biomarker of this pathway, the plasma kynurenine to tryptophan ratio (K/T ratio), has been associated with HIV progression, mortality and depression. Our aim was to assess whether hazardous alcohol consumption is associated higher K/T ratio among people with HIV.
Methods: Participants were a subset of the Uganda Alcohol Research Collaboration on HIV/AIDS Cohort. Alcohol consumption was categorized (abstinent, moderate and hazardous alcohol use) using the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test-Consumption and phosphatidylethanol (PEth). K/T ratio was the primary outcome. We used linear regression adjusted for age, sex, FIB-4, hepatitis B surface antigen, log (HIV viral load) to estimate the association between alcohol consumption and K/T ratio.
Results: Compared to abstinent participants, hazardous drinkers and moderate drinkers had higher K/T ratio but these differences did not reach statistical significance.
Conclusions: Our results suggest that hazardous alcohol consumption, in the context of untreated HIV infection, may not significantly alter kynurenine to tryptophan ratio as a measure of activity of the kynurenine pathway of tryptophan metabolism.
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