T Lymphocyte Subsets Associated with Prevalent Diabetes in Veterans with and without Human Immunodeficiency Virus

Samuel S. Bailin, Kathleen A. McGinnis, Wyatt J. McDonnell, Kaku So-Armah, Melissa Wellons, Russell P. Tracy, Margaret F. Doyle, Simon Mallal, Amy C. Justice, Matthew S. Freiberg, Alan L. Landay, Celestine Wanjalla, John R. Koethe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: A higher proportion of circulating memory CD4+ T cells is associated with prevalent diabetes mellitus in the general population. Given the broad changes in adaptive immunity, including memory T-cell expansion, and rising prevalence of diabetes in the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) population, we assessed whether similar relationships were present in persons with HIV (PWH). Methods: Multiple CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell subsets were measured by flow cytometry, and prevalent diabetes cases were adjudicated by 2 physicians for PWH and HIV-negative participants in the Veterans Aging Cohort Study. Multivariable logistic regression models evaluated the association of T-cell subsets and diabetes stratified by HIV status, adjusted for cytomegalovirus serostatus and traditional risk factors. Results: Among 2385 participants (65% PWH, 95% male, 68% African American), higher CD45RO+ memory CD4+ T cells and lower CD38+ CD4+ T cells were associated with prevalent diabetes, and had a similar effect size, in both the PWH and HIV-negative (P≤.05 for all). Lower CD38+CD8+ T cells were also associated with diabetes in both groups. Conclusions: The CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell subsets associated with diabetes are similar in PWH and HIV-negative individuals, suggesting that diabetes in PWH may be related to chronic immune activation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)252-262
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 29 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • HIV
  • metabolic disease
  • systemic inflammation
  • T lymphocytes
  • type 2 diabetes mellitus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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