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BMJ Open. 2012 Nov 23;2(6). pii: e001155. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001155. Print 2012.

Impact of immunodepression and moderate alcohol consumption on coronary and other arterial disease events in an 11-year cohort of HIV-infected patients on antiretroviral therapy.

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  • 1INSERM, UMR912 (SESSTIM), 13006, Marseille, France.



To investigate the relationship between response to antiretroviral therapy (ART), alcohol use and occurrence of a major coronary or other arterial disease event (CADE) in HIV-infected individuals.


A cohort study. A Cox model was used to identify the correlates of a first occurrence of a major CADE.


The French ANRS CO8 APROCO-COPILOTE cohort was set up in 1997 to study clinical progression and patient-reported outcomes (PRO) after initiating a protease inhibitor-containing ART. Clinical data were retrieved from medical records. Self-administered questionnaires collected data on PRO and behaviours, including alcohol use.


Metabolic data were only available for a subgroup (n=675) of the study group (n=1154).


Major coronary or other arterial disease first event.


Over the 11-year follow-up, 49 major CADE were observed, with an incidence rate (95% CI)=0.75(0.57 to 0.99) per 100 person-years. Immunodepression (CD4 cell count <200 cells/mm(3)) was associated with an increased risk of CADE (adjusted HR (95% CI)=2.52(1.15 to 5.48)) after adjustment for female gender (0.25(0.08 to 0.83)), age (1.07(1.04 to 1.10)) and smoking>20 cigarettes/day (4.19(2.17 to 8.11)). Moreover, individuals with moderate alcohol consumption (≤4(3) alcohol units (AU)/day for men(women)) had a lower risk of CADE (0.38(0.20 to 0.71)) than alcohol abstainers, although the risk for those drinking>4(3) AU/day for men(women) was not significantly different from this latter group. These associations remained valid after adjustment for metabolic disorders. No significant association with exposure to any specific antiretroviral was detected.


In the long term, absence of immunodepression and moderate alcohol consumption remain associated with a lower risk of a major CADE. Combined interventions to reduce CADE-risk-related behaviours including adherence counselling for assuring long-term immunological response to ART in HIV-infected individuals are now a clinical and public health priority.

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