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Polanka BM, Kundu S, So-Armah KA, Freiberg MS, Gupta SK, Zapolski TCB, Hirsh AT, Bedimo RJ, Budoff MJ, Butt AA, Chang CH, Gottlieb SS, Marconi VC, Womack JA, Stewart JC. Insomnia symptoms and biomarkers of monocyte activation, systemic inflammation, and coagulation in HIV: Veterans Aging Cohort Study. PLoS ONE. 2021 Feb 9; 16(2):e0246073.
BACKGROUND: Insomnia may be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease in HIV (HIV-CVD); however, mechanisms have yet to be elucidated. METHODS: We examined cross-sectional associations of insomnia symptoms with biological mechanisms of HIV-CVD (immune activation, systemic inflammation, and coagulation) among 1,542 people with HIV from the Veterans Aging Cohort Study (VACS) Biomarker Cohort. Past-month insomnia symptoms were assessed by the item, "Difficulty falling or staying asleep?," with the following response options: "I do not have this symptom" or "I have this symptom and…" "it doesn''t bother me," "it bothers me a little," "it bothers me," "it bothers me a lot." Circulating levels of the monocyte activation marker soluble CD14 (sCD14), inflammatory marker interleukin-6 (IL-6), and coagulation marker D-dimer were determined from blood specimens. Demographic- and fully-adjusted (CVD risk factors, potential confounders, HIV-related factors) regression models were constructed, with log-transformed biomarker variables as the outcomes. We present the exponentiated regression coefficient (exp[b]) and its 95% confidence interval (CI). RESULTS: We observed no significant associations between insomnia symptoms and sCD14 or IL-6. For D-dimer, veterans in the "Bothers a Lot" group had, on average, 17% higher D-dimer than veterans in the "No Difficulty Falling or Staying Asleep" group in the demographic-adjusted model (exp[b] = 1.17, 95%CI = 1.01-1.37, p = .04). This association was nonsignificant in the fully-adjusted model (exp[b] = 1.09, 95%CI = 0.94-1.26, p = .27). CONCLUSION: We observed little evidence of relationships between insomnia symptoms and markers of biological mechanisms of HIV-CVD. Other mechanisms may be responsible for the insomnia-CVD relationship in HIV; however, future studies with comprehensive assessments of insomnia symptoms are warranted.