HIV No Independent Risk Factor for Severe Heart Disease

HIV patients are not facing more
cardiac problems than others
© Hemera

Researchers at the Emory University Health Sciences Center studied patients who underwent cardiac catheterisation due to acute coronary syndrome or an abnormal cardiac stress test at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta.

The patients were evaluated for HIV infection, common cardiac risk factors, highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART) and findings on coronary angiography.

"We then used multivariate analyses to determine the relationship between HIV status and angiographically severe CAD in 525 patients," explains Emory Heart Center cardiologist and research team member Srikanth Sola, MD. "We found that five percent were HIV positive and 21 percent were admitted with a heart attack. But only 1.4 percent of the heart attack group was HIV positive."

Cardiac catheterisation revealed that 213 patients (45%) had severe CAD stenosis and 14 patients of these patients were HIV positive. "At first, it appeared that HIV status was significantly associated with angiographically severe heart disease. However, after we adjusted for age, gender, hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol levels and tobacco use, HIV status was no longer associated with severe CAD," says Dr. Sola. "In fact, there was no significant relationship between angiographically significant CAD and HAART, CD4 count, or HIV viral load."

The Emory researchers concluded that, although HIV infection is common in an urban population referred for cardiac catheterisation, it was not a significant risk factor for severe CAD.

"This suggests that factors other than HIV play a significant role in the development of severe CAD in patients who are HIV positive. Lifestyle and traditional cardiac risk factors like hypertension, hyperlipidemia or tobacco appear to play a larger role than HIV in the development of CAD," Dr. Sola states. He adds that the researchers were surprised by their findings.

MEDICA.de; Source: Emory University Health Sciences Center