Menopause may increase immune activation in women with HIV
Postmenopausal women with HIV had higher levels of immune activation than premenopausal women with HIV, according to a study published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases.
“So little is known regarding the health consequences of menopause that are specific to women living with HIV,” Brandilyn A. Peters, PhD, assistant professor of epidemiology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, told Healio. “Immune activation is a persistent issue in people living with HIV in general, so we wanted to know how menopause impacts this phenomenon.”
Peters and colleagues assessed 350 women with HIV from the Women’s Interagency HIV study by measuring plasma biomarkers of gut barrier dysfunction (intestinal fatty acid binding protein [IFAB]), innate immune activation (soluble CD14 [sCD14] and soluble CD163 [sCD163]) and systemic inflammation (interleukin-6 [IL-6] and tumor necrosis factor receptor 1 [TNFR1]) during 674 person-visits over nearly 2 years.
Adjusted study data demonstrated that menopause was associated with a 161.89 ng/mL higher plasma sCD14 (95% CI, 18.37-305.41) and 65.48 ng/mL higher sCD163 (95% CI, 6.64-124.33) compared with premenopausal women.
“Compounded effects of HIV, aging and menopause on immune activation could put aging women with HIV at particularly high risk of comorbidities,” Peters said. “Clinical research on interventions (eg, health monitoring, lifestyle modifications, hormone therapy) to reduce disease risk will be important in this high-risk group.”