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Associations of CKD risk factors and longitudinal changes in urine biomarkers of kidney tubules among women living with HIV



Novel urine biomarkers have enabled the characterization of kidney tubular dysfunction and injury among persons living with HIV, a population at an increased risk of kidney disease. Even though several urine biomarkers predict progressive kidney function decline, antiretroviral toxicity, and mortality in the setting of HIV infection, the relationships among the risk factors for chronic kidney disease (CKD) and urine biomarkers are unclear.


We assessed traditional and infection-related CKD risk factors and measured 14 urine biomarkers at baseline and at follow-up among women living with HIV in the Women's Interagency Health Study (WIHS). We then used simultaneously adjusted multivariable linear regression models to evaluate the associations of CKD risk factors with longitudinal changes in biomarker levels.


Of the 647 women living with HIV in this analysis, the majority (67%) were Black, the median age was 45 years and median follow-up time was 2.5 years. Each traditional and infection-related CKD risk factor was associated with a unique set of changes in urine biomarkers. For example, baseline hemoglobin a1c was associated with worse tubular injury (higher interleukin [IL]-18), proximal tubular reabsorptive dysfunction (higher α1-microglobulin), tubular reserve (lower uromodulin) and immune response to injury (higher chitinase-3-like protein-1 [YKL-40]). Furthermore, increasing hemoglobin a1c at follow-up was associated with further worsening of tubular injury (higher kidney injury molecule-1 [KIM-1] and IL-18), as well as higher YKL-40. HCV co-infection was associated with worsening proximal tubular reabsorptive dysfunction (higher β2-microglobulin [β2m]), and higher YKL-40, whereas HIV viremia was associated with worsening markers of tubular and glomerular injury (higher KIM-1 and albuminuria, respectively).


CKD risk factors are associated with unique patterns of biomarker changes among women living with HIV, suggesting that serial measurements of multiple biomarkers may help in detecting and monitoring kidney disease in this setting.

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