Relationship of serum copper and zinc levels to HIV-1 seropositivity to AIDS
Individuals with AIDS develop nutrition deficiencies. The minerals zinc and copper are thought to be important in the functioning of the immune system. The levels of zinc and copper were examined in a study of homosexual men, including 54 individuals who were infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) but did not have any symptoms of disease, 54 individuals who were infected with HIV and later progressed to AIDS, and 54 individuals who were not infected with HIV. The levels of copper and zinc in the blood and tissues were determined by laboratory tests, and the dietary intake was estimated from the individuals' diets. Levels of copper and zinc in the diet and in the tissues were not found to be related to whether the individual was infected or not, nor to the progression to AIDS. However, the levels of copper in the blood were higher and levels of zinc in the blood were lower in those who were infected and progressed to AIDS compared with those who were infected but did not progress to AIDS and with those who were not infected. Having high levels of copper and low levels of zinc in the blood was a predictor of progression to AIDS and these levels can be used in a laboratory test as a marker of progression to AIDS. The levels of copper and zinc predicted the progression to AIDS independently of other factors used to predict progression, such as number of CD4+ lymphocytes levels or age. (Consumer Summary produced by Reliance Medical Information, Inc.)
Publication Name: Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
Weight loss prior to clinical AIDS as a predictor of survival
People with HIV infection who experience significant weight loss before the diagnosis of AIDS may have a worse survival rate after AIDS than those who do not experience such weight loss. Researchers analyzed weight loss and survival in 962 HIV-infected, gay or bisexual men who developed AIDS during an 8.5 year study period. During the period three to nine months before AIDS diagnosis, the median survival time was 1.06 years among participants who lost at least 4.5 kilograms (kg), but 1.45 years among those who lost less than 4.5 kg. Survival rates were similar for weight loss of less than or greater than 4.5 kg during longer periods before AIDS diagnosis. Men who lost more than 10% of their originally measured weight had a survival of 0.83 years, as compared to 1.44 years among men who lost less than 5% of their original weight. The effect of weight loss on survival was not effected by adjustment for CD4 counts, anti-viral drug use, and therapy for preventing Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia.
Publication Name: Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes and Human Retrovirology
Survival in HIV-infected patients who have received zidovudine: comparison of combination therapy with sequential monotherapy and continued zidovudine monotherapy
Switching from zidovudine therapy to either therapy with zalcitabine or didanosine or to therapy with a combination of drugs appeared to give equally effective results. However, gains in survival were modest in both cases. Researchers compared outcomes among 263 HIV-infected patients who switched to a different drug and 318 patients who were given combination therapy with 496 patients who continued zidovudine therapy. Patients switching to a different drug had a 29% decrease in the risk of developing an AIDS-defining disease versus a 14% reduction with combination therapy compared with those continuing zidovudine. Similarly, patients switching to a different drug had a 32% reduction in the risk of death versus a 45% reduction with combination therapy compared with those continuing zidovudine. However, average survival rates were extended by only three to six months by changing therapy from zidovudine.
Publication Name: Annals of Internal Medicine
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- Abstracts: Cytomegalovirus as a possible cofactor in HIV disease progression. More rapid progression to AIDS in older HIV-infected people: the role of CD4+ T-cell counts