Objective: The Met allele of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met polymorphism is associated with increased cortical dopamine and risk behaviors including illicit drug use and unprotected sex. Therefore, we examined whether or not the distribution of the Val158Met genotype differed between HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected women.
Design: Cross-sectional analysis using data from the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS), the largest longitudinal cohort study of HIV in women.
Methods: We conducted an Armitage–Cochran test and logistic regression to compare genotype frequencies between 1848 HIV-infected and 612 HIV-uninfected women in WIHS.
Results: The likelihood of carrying one or two Met alleles was greater in HIV-infected women (61%) compared to HIV-uninfected women (54%), Z = −3.60, P <0.001.
Conclusion: We report the novel finding of an association between the Val158Met genotype and HIV serostatus that may be mediated through the impact of dopamine function on propensity for risk-taking.
aDepartment of Psychiatry
bDepartment of Psychology
cDepartment of Pharmacy Practice, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
dDepartment of Physiological Nursing, University of California, San Francisco, California
eSUNY Downstate Medical Center, School of Public Health, Brooklyn, New York
fThe Core Center at Cook County Health and Hospital System, Chicago, Illinois
gDepartment of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland
hDepartment of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York
iDistrict of Columbia WIHS Center, Washington, District of Columbia
jState University of New York Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York
kDepartment of Preventive Medicine, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA.
Correspondence to Pauline M. Maki, PhD, Department of Psychiatry (MC 913), University of Illinois at Chicago, 912 S Wood St, Chicago, IL 60612, USA. Tel: +1 312 996 6941; fax: +1 312 413 7856; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Received 5 February, 2013
Revised 20 March, 2013
Accepted 28 March, 2013