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HIV a Significant Risk Factor for Coronary Plaque, Independent of Cardiac Risk Factors — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
April 1, 2014

HIV a Significant Risk Factor for Coronary Plaque, Independent of Cardiac Risk Factors

By Amy Orciari Herman

HIV-infected men who have sex with men (MSM) are more likely than uninfected MSM to have coronary artery plaque, regardless of other cardiac risk factors, according to a U.S.-based, cross-sectional study in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Some 600 HIV-infected and 400 uninfected MSM, aged 40 to 70, had noncontrast CT scans; about three-quarters of the cohort also underwent coronary CT angiography. Roughly 78% of infected men and 74% of uninfected men had coronary artery plaque. After adjustment for covariates, including cardiac risk factors, HIV-infected men had a significantly higher prevalence of plaque (prevalence ratio, 1.13). A greater prevalence and extent of noncalcified plaque accounted for much of the difference between the groups.

HIV/AIDS expert Paul Sax commented, "This is one of many studies highlighting an excess risk of CV disease in HIV-infected patients. What remains unclear is whether this applies to all people with HIV, or only those with certain HIV-disease related characteristics."

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