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GlycA, a novel inflammatory marker, is associated with subclinical coronary disease



GlycA, a novel NMR biomarker of inflammation, has been associated with incident cardiovascular disease (CVD) in the general population, but its association with CVD among HIV-infected individuals is unknown. We examined the associations between GlycA and subclinical coronary plaque among HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected men participating in Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS).


Cross-sectional analysis of 935 men with plasma measurement of GlycA and noncontrast cardiac computed tomography (CT) and/or coronary CT angiography.


We used multivariable Poisson and linear regression to assess associations of GlycA with prevalent coronary atherosclerosis and plaque extent, respectively.


Mean ± SD age was 54 ± 7 years; 31% were black; 63% HIV-infected. GlycA levels were higher in HIV-infected compared with HIV-uninfected men (397 ± 68 vs. 380 ± 60 μmol/l, P = 0.0001) and higher for men with detectable viral load vs. undetectable (413 ± 79 vs. 393 ± 65 μmol/l, P = 0.004). After adjusting for HIV serostatus, demographic and CVD risk factors, every 1SD increment in GlycA level was associated with a higher prevalence of coronary artery calcium (CAC >0) [prevalence ratio 1.09 (95% CI 1.03-1.15)] and coronary stenosis at least 50% [1.20 (1.02-1.41)]. These associations were not significantly altered after adjusting for traditional inflammatory biomarkers or differ by HIV serostatus. Among men with plaque, GlycA was positively associated with the extent of CAC and total plaque.


HIV infection was associated with higher GlycA levels. In both HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected individuals, GlycA was significantly associated with several measures of subclinical coronary atherosclerosis, independent of other CVD risk factors and inflammatory biomarkers. These findings suggest the potential role of GlycA in CVD risk stratification among HIV patients.

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