Low Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) Level Is Associated with Poor Immunologic Response among People Living with HIV/AIDS

Eun Hwa Lee, Ki Hyun Lee, Se Ju Lee, Jinnam Kim, Jung Ho Kim, Jin Young Ahn, Nam Su Ku, Jun Yong Choi, Joon Sup Yeom, Su Jin Jeong

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Abstract

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is an adrenal steroid converted to potent androgens. This study aimed to discover the association between serum DHEA levels and immunologic response in people with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). We enrolled patients aged ≥ 18 years who were treated with combination antiretroviral therapy (cART). We measured CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell counts, HIV-RNA titres, and serum DHEA levels. We assigned each patient to a good- or poor-responder group depending on their CD4+ T-cell counts at study enrolment. Participants with CD4+ T-cell counts > 200/µL were assigned to the good-responder group, whilst those with CD4+ T-cell counts < 200/µL were assigned to the poor-responder group. The participants were followed up for 2 years. The poor-responder group showed lower CD4+ T-cell counts and higher HIV PCR titres at their initial HIV diagnosis and in their 2-year follow-up data. Serum DHEA level was lower in the poor-responder group. Multivariable logistic analysis showed that BMI, initial CD4+ T-cell counts, and serum DHEA level were clinical factors associated with poor immunologic responsiveness to cART in PLWHA. Therefore, DHEA may be used as an indicator of the immunological recovery of PLWHA.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6077
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Volume11
Issue number20
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Oct

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine

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