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Kidney Int. 2002 Jan;61(1):195-202.

Predictors of proteinuria and renal failure among women with HIV infection.

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Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA.



Glomerular disease with proteinuria and renal failure are complications of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. While studies suggest risk factors for both include black race and lower CD4 lymphocyte count, they have not been established in population-based cohorts. This study examines the risk factors for proteinuria and renal failure in a large cohort of HIV-infected women not selected for the presence of renal disease.


This prospective cohort includes 2059 women enrolled in the Women's Interagency HIV study (WIHS). WIHS is a longitudinal study of the clinical course of HIV infection in which subjects are followed biannually with a detailed exam including urine analysis, serum creatinine, CD4 lymphocyte count, and HIV RNA level. Proteinuria was defined as > or =+1 on urine dipstick exam on at least two consecutive urine analyses, and renal failure was defined as a doubling of serum creatinine. Multivariable logistic regression was used to estimate the associations between clinical variables and the presence of proteinuria on initial evaluation in a cross-sectional analysis. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to estimate the associations between clinical variables and time to renal failure among study participants with proteinuria in a prospective longitudinal analysis.


Of 2057 HIV-positive women, 32% (N=671) had proteinuria on initial evaluation. Predictors of proteinuria include increasing (log) HIV RNA level [odds ratio (OR)=1.05], black race (OR=2.0), absolute CD4 lymphocyte count < or =200 cells/mm3 (OR=1.41), and the presence of hepatitis C antibody (OR=1.27; all P < 0.0001). Absolute CD4 lymphocyte count < or =200 cells/mm3 [hazard ratio (HR)=3.57, P=0.001], detectable HIV RNA level (HR=2.33, P=0.02), increasing systolic blood pressure (HR=1.02, P=0.002), and decreasing albumin (HR=3.33, P=0.0001) and increasing creatinine (1.67, P=0.0001) were all associated with the development of renal failure.


This analysis establishes the associations between both increasing HIV RNA level and decreasing CD4 lymphocyte count with the presence of proteinuria and occurrence of renal failure. Additionally, it demonstrates an association between proteinuria and a positive hepatitis C antibody. To lessen the presence and progression of renal disease among HIV-infected patients, future research should focus on suppression of the HIV RNA level and improvement in CD4 lymphocyte count.

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