Background: Clinical and epidemiological evidence suggests that HIV infection and cocaine use are associated with an increased risk of premature atherosclerosis. The underlying mechanisms linking HIV infection and cocaine use with early atherosclerosis remain elusive. Methods and results: Endothelin-1 (ET-1) levels in 360 African American participants in Baltimore, Maryland were measured. Quantile regression analysis was performed to examine the associations between ET-1, HIV infection, cocaine use, and other relevant clinical factors. The median of ET-1 in plasma, (1.05 pg/mL with interquartile range: 0.73, 1.40) for those with HIV infection was significantly higher than values for those without HIV infection (0.74 pg/mL with interquartile range: 0.61, 0.93). The median of ET-1 was markedly higher in chronic cocaine users (0.96 pg/mL with interquartile range: 0.71, 1.36) than that in non-cocaine users (0.72 pg/mL with interquartile range: 0.58, 1.06). Multivariate quantile regression suggested that HIV infection and duration of cocaine use were independently associated with plasma ET-1 levels after controlling for potential confounding factors. Conclusions: This study may provide insight into the mechanism of premature atherosclerosis in HIV-infected cocaine users and suggest that measurement of ET-1 in plasma can be used as a marker of early atherosclerosis in HIV infected patients and cocaine users.
- African Americans
- Cocaine use
- HIV infection
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine