Host APOL1 genotype is independently associated with proteinuria in HIV infection

Michelle M. Estrella, Christina M. Wyatt, C. Leigh Pearce, Man Li, Michael G. Shlipak, Bradley E. Aouizerat, Deborah Gustafson, Mardge H. Cohen, Stephen J. Gange, W. H Linda Kao, Rulan S. Parekh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Proteinuria is associated with adverse clinical outcomes in HIV infection. Here we evaluated whether APOL1 risk alleles, previously associated with advanced kidney disease, are independently associated with proteinuria in HIV infection in a cross-sectional study of HIV-infected women in the Women's Interagency HIV Study. We estimated the percent difference in urine protein excretion and odds of proteinuria (≥200 mg/g) associated with two versus one or no APOL1 risk allele using linear and logistic regression, respectively. Of 1285 women successfully genotyped, 379 carried one and 80 carried two risk alleles. Proteinuria was present in 124 women, 78 of whom had proteinuria confirmed on a second sample. In women without prior AIDS, two risk alleles were independently associated with a 69% higher urine protein excretion (95% confidence interval (CI): 36, 108) and five-fold higher odds of proteinuria (95% CI: 2.45, 10.37) as compared with one or no risk allele. No association was found in women with prior AIDS. Analyses in which women with impaired kidney function were excluded and proteinuria was confirmed by a second urine sample yielded similar estimates. Thus, APOL1 risk alleles are associated with significant proteinuria in HIV-infected persons without prior clinical AIDS, independent of clinical factors traditionally associated with proteinuria. Trials are needed to determine whether APOL1 genotyping identifies individuals who could benefit from earlier intervention to prevent overt renal disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)834-840
Number of pages7
JournalKidney International
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2013


  • HIV
  • genetic renal disease
  • kidney disease
  • proteinuria

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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