Altered kidney function associated with alcohol and cannabis use by women living with HIV

Kirk Taylor, HIV i-Base

The June issue of AIDS included a prospective cohort study of the effect of substance use (e.g. alcohol and cannabis) on kidney function for women living with or without HIV.

Participants were recruited from a US multicentre prospective cohort study and were living with (n=1043) or without (n=469) HIV. Median age was higher for people with HIV compared to HIV negative participants: 46 years (IQR: 41 to 52) vs 42 years (IQR: 35 to 50). People living with HIV had CD4 counts ≥200 cells/mm3  (86%), undetectable viral load (54%) and art regimens included TDF (60%).

Substance use data was collected bi-annually and eGFR (estimated glomerular filtration rate) was calculated across a decade (2009 to 2019). Linear regression analyses were adjusted for HIV factors and kidney disease to identify associations between substance use and kidney function.

Using cannabis for up to 14 days per month decreased eGFR by 3.34 mL/min per 1.73m2 (95% CI: -6.63 to -0.06 ml/min per 1.73m2), compared to those that did not report cannabis use.

Having ≥7 alcoholic drinks per week increased eGFR by 5.41 ml/min per 1.73m2 (95% CI: 2.34 to 8.48 ml/min per 1.73m2), relative to non-drinkers.

There was no association between tobacco use and eGFR. The study did not report any differences between women living with HIV and those that were HIV negative.


Fisher MC et al. Association of marijuana, tobacco and alcohol use with estimated glomerular filtration rate in women living with HIV and women without HIV. AIDS 37(10), 1555-1564. DOI: 10.1097/QAD.0000000000003625 (09 June 2023).

This report was first posted on 13 September 2023.

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