The CD4:CD8 ratio is associated with markers of age-associated disease in virally suppressed HIV-infected patients with immunological recovery




Inversion of the CD4:CD8 ratio (< 1) has been identified as a hallmark of inmmunosenescence and an independent predictor of mortality in the general population. We aimed to assess the association between the CD4:CD8 ratio and markers of age-associated disease in treated HIV-infected patients with good immunovirological response.


A cross-sectional analysis was conducted in 132 HIV-infected adults on antiretroviral therapy (ART), with plasma HIV RNA < 50 HIV-1 RNA copies/mL for at least 1 year, CD4 count > 350 cells/μL and age < 65 years. We analysed the associations between the CD4:CD8 ratio and subclinical atherosclerosis [assessed using carotid intima-media thickness (IMT)], arterial stiffness [assessed using the augmentation index (AIx)], the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), muscle wasting and sarcopenia [assessed using appendicular lean mass/height2 (ALM) measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA)].


CD4:CD8 ratio inversion was associated with higher IMT, lower eGFR and lower ALM (all values P < 0.05), but not with AIx. In multivariate analyses adjusted for age, sex, hypertriglyceridaemia, tobacco use and cumulative ART exposure, inversion of the CD4:CD8 ratio was independently associated with higher IMT [odds ratio (OR) 2.9; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.2–7.1], arterial stiffness (OR 4.8; 95% CI 1.0–23.5) and lower eGFR (OR 5.2; 95% CI 1.0–64.4), but not sarcopenia (OR 0.7; 95% CI 0.2–2.7). These associations persisted when models were applied to subjects with nadir CD4 counts > 200 cells/μL and those with CD4 counts > 500 cells/μL.


The CD4:CD8 ratio in treated HIV-infected subjects with good immunovirological response is independently associated with markers of age-associated disease. Hence, it might be a clinically useful predictor of non-AIDS-defining conditions.