Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 171, Issue 1, pp 63–70 | Cite as

Serum Zinc Concentration and C-Reactive Protein in Individuals with Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection: the Positive Living with HIV (POLH) Study

  • Krishna C. PoudelEmail author
  • Elizabeth R. Bertone-Johnson
  • Kalpana Poudel-Tandukar


Low zinc levels and chronic inflammation are common in individuals infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Zinc deficiency may promote systemic inflammation, but research on the role of zinc in inflammation among HIV-positive individuals taking account of anti-retroviral therapy is lacking. We assessed the association between serum zinc and C-reactive protein (CRP) concentration in a cohort of HIV-positive individuals. A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 311 HIV-positive individuals (177 men and 134 women) aged 18–60 years residing in Kathmandu, Nepal. High-sensitive or regular serum CRP concentrations were measured by the latex agglutination nephelometry or turbidimetric method, and zinc concentrations were measured by the atomic absorption method. Relationships were assessed using multiple linear regression analysis. The geometric means of zinc in men and women were 73.83 and 71.93 ug/dL, respectively, and of CRP were 1.64 and 0.96 mg/L, respectively. Mean serum CRP concentration was significantly decreased with increasing serum zinc concentration across zinc tertiles (P for trend = 0.010), with mean serum CRP concentration in the highest tertile of serum zinc concentration was 44.2 % lower than that in the lowest tertile. The mean serum CRP concentrations in men and women in the highest tertile of serum zinc concentrations were 30 and 35.9 % lower, respectively, than that in the lowest tertile (P for trend = 0.263 and 0.162, respectively). We found a significant inverse relation between log zinc and log CRP concentrations (beta for 1 unit change in log zinc; β = −1.79, p = 0.0003). Serum zinc concentration may be inversely associated with serum CRP concentration in HIV-positive individuals.


Zinc Inflammation HIV infection C-reactive protein Nepal 



The authors would like to thank all of the participants for their valuable information, cooperation, and participation. The authors would also like to gratefully acknowledge the support and co-ordination of five local NGOs working with HIV-positive populations in the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal—Youth Vision, Sneha Samaj, Srijansil Mahila Samuha, SPARSHA Nepal, and Shakti Milan Samaj for recruiting participants and collecting information. This study was partially supported by the Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists (B) (22790581), Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan; Waseda University Grants for Special Research Projects, General Grant/Ippan Josei, Japan (2012A-101); and by the Grant for Research on Global Health and Medicine (No. 21A-2) from the National Center for Global Health and Medicine, Japan. The funding agency had no role in the study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the paper for publication.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethics Approval and Consent to Participate

The Ethics Committees of the Nepal Health Research Council, Kathmandu, Nepal; National Center for Global Health and Medicine, Japan; and Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan, approved the study protocol. The Institutional Review Board of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA, also approved the study procedures. The participants provided their written informed consent.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Krishna C. Poudel
    • 1
    Email author
  • Elizabeth R. Bertone-Johnson
    • 2
  • Kalpana Poudel-Tandukar
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Health Promotion and Policy, School of Public Health and Health SciencesUniversity of Massachusetts AmherstAmherstUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, School of Public Health and Health SciencesUniversity of Massachusetts AmherstAmherstUSA
  3. 3.College of NursingUniversity of Massachusetts AmherstAmherstUSA

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