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Fraction of Exhaled Nitric Oxide Levels Are Elevated in People Living With Human Immunodeficiency Virus Compared to Uninfected Controls, Suggesting Increased Eosinophilic Airway Inflammation

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BACKGROUND: Increased risk of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease has been reported in people living with human immunodeficiency virus (PLWH). Fraction of exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) is a marker of eosinophilic airway inflammation. We assessed FeNO levels in PLWH and matched uninfected controls and investigated whether human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) status is independently associated with elevated FeNO.

METHODS: FeNO was quantified by NIOX Vero and pulmonary function was assessed by spirometry in 432 PLWH from the Copenhagen Comorbidity in HIV Infection Study and in 1618 age- and sex-matched uninfected controls from the Copenhagen General Population Study. Elevated FeNO was defined as ≥25 parts per billion. Associations between FeNO and HIV status were adjusted for known potential confounders.

RESULTS: Mean age of PLWH was 50.7 (standard deviation [SD], 11.1) years and 97.4% received combination antiretroviral therapy. PLWH had higher FeNO than uninfected controls (median, 17.0 [interquartile range {IQR}, 11.0-26.0] vs 13.0 [IQR, 9.0-19.0]; P < .001). Also, PLWH had a higher prevalence of elevated FeNO than uninfected controls (27.5% vs 12.3%; P < .001). This association remained after adjusting for age, sex, height, smoking status, use of airway medication, blood eosinophils, and immunoglobulin E (adjusted OR [aOR], 3.56 [95% CI, 2.51-5.04]; P < .001). Elevated FeNO was associated with self-reported asthma (aOR, 2.65 [95% CI, 1.66-4.24]; P < .001) but not with airflow limitation (aOR, 1.07 [95% CI, .71-1.62]; P = .745).

CONCLUSIONS: HIV status was independently associated with elevated FeNO, suggesting increased eosinophilic airway inflammation. The potential impact on chronic lung disease pathogenesis needs further investigation.

TidsskriftClinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America
Udgave nummer12
Sider (fra-til)3214-3221
Antal sider8
StatusUdgivet - 15 dec. 2020

Bibliografisk note

© The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, e-mail:

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